10 Feb British Citizens May Be Given a Carbon Allowance – Is This a Good Idea?
The United Kingdom the talk about giving every citizen an annual carbon ration is being discussed. The idea is to give everyone a “bank account” of credits that will be spent throughout the year while buying fuels or making certain purchases on items that could put out extra carbon dioxide.
If one were to spend too much of this account, they will be required to buy more credits. Those who used less like someone who uses their bicycle or walks primarily might receive a refund check for that carbon dioxide they didn’t not contribute to.
There are a few criticisms of the plan. First is that this will just add a layer of bureaucracy to the government. You will have to be balancing these credits and debits, giving out new cards when lost, doing extra paperwork, and costing the tax payers hours in trying to run the program. This is criticized because it is said that most people wouldn’t run through their allowance which makes one wonder the point of the program.
Another criticism is that those with money probably won’t change their habits. A private jet might take more carbon credits to run, but someone who is wealthy will still prefer the private jet for travel. It will be difficult to sway someone’s habits with this credit and debit system. Essentially those who do have habits that might produce more emissions like these will also have the money to cover an extra fees or taxes imposed on these specific activities.
A last criticism is that if someone is poor they could end up paying extra money for emissions that could otherwise be going towards food, clothing, education, and other expenses that someone needs to pay for.
Is something like this a little bit too Orwellian? Well to many it can look that way. Others have the opinion of cutting CO2 at any cost regardless of the results.