HM Treasury brainwashed by carbon trading - well in the case of Kitty and Hilary it just needed a light rinse
Brainy, beautiful, dutiful Kitty Ussher , Economic Secretary to the Treasury, gave a speech to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) at their "Making carbon markets work' event on the 4th October 2007.
This can be consulted at the HM Treasury website as 32 numbered paragraphs ... No 32 consists of two words.... Thank you.
She kicks off by repeating the mantra of the meddling classes ..."I believe carbon trading can play a very significant part, and in fact needs to play a very significant part, in the way that we tackle climate change, both here in Britain and worldwide." Carbon trading she says has to be credible, effective and accountable... which judging by Round One of the ETS it is none of those things.
Well versed in the Stern report's nonsense she picks up on the need (and importance) to give carbon a global price, we can cost the damage of carbonemissions – we can internalise the externality, to use the economists’ jargon - reminding us of course that she is practised in the dismal science.
Of the many ways of creating that price – HMG she says believes that a very important way of doing this is the trading of carbon emissions - not only that , but here is the really scary bit -
"We want it to be strengthened in the future, with limits that tighten over time to create scarcity, and we want it to be expanded – to cover more sectors and more gases, and also to link, eventually, with schemes in other countries."
" ....carbon pricing can only be fully effective if we can create a global price ... which means a global carbon market."
It must have been at this stage that here deep brown eyes started whirling as she set off on a global journey - California .. indeed other US States - it won't be easy - challenging - opportunities ... financial services.
It must have beenat this stage that the asembled accountants stood on their chairs and cheered.
" .... global carbon trading market is worth $30 billion a year – and we expect it to increase significantly in future. This is a new market, and a new opportunity for the UK, and for London in particular ....." London is already the world’s leading financial centre for emissions ..." there musn't have been a dry pair of Calvin Kleins in the room.
Adrenalin racing the pert, petite brain box rattled on ... annual turnover ... environmental goods and services sector... £25 billion in the UK ....... double ....... creating at least 100,000 jobs.
The assmebled money jugglers rolled in the aisles with glee.
"So there are some real opportunities for a green economy and a growing economy – and carbon trading can be at the heart of that." - M & C Saatchi never came out with a better line - just feel it , roll it round your mouth ...."real opportunities for a green economy and a growing economy " all those nights at Balliol studying the rhetoricians.
a green economy and a growing economy - remember that one , you are going to hear it very often.
... er ...32. Thank you.
Now her boss has produced his 3 year Stalinist Plan Pre-Budget Report and her pal Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has added a few hard edges to all this hgh flown rhetoric.
The new measures young and vibrant Hilary announced include:
* Air Passenger Duty to be replaced with a 'per plane' tax from 1 November 2009 to make the tax better fit the environmental impact. So far this is just a "good idea" and HMG will be consulting.
* A commitment (?) to increase the use of auctioning for EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) permits for Phase III, with a significant increase in the level of auctioning for large electricity producers to improve the efficiency of the scheme and tackle windfall profits that have occurred in this sector;
* Confirmation (?) that Climate Change Agreements will be extended until 2017, subject to state aid clearance; and
* Measures to encourage energy efficiency and new technologies, including a push in Europe to speed up action to improve energy efficiency in consumer goods and to reduce the rate of VAT for the most energy-efficient products, consulting on the UK's product standards and providing incentives for businesses to install microgeneration.
The Government will also aim to ensure that future phases of the EU ETS will continue to recognise the carbon savings delivered by Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facilities.
Internationally, a fund will be established at the World Bank as a mechanism for delivering the international element of the Environmental Transformation Fund, announced in this year's Budget.
Which means we will have to wait until Europe approves / catches up / agrees.
The contribution of the UK to global warming is virtually zero. The sole contribution we can make is to reduce fossil fuel consumption - we need to do this as the forthcoming UK energy deficit looms. (FCUKED) - exhortation, fancy trading schemes manufactured, massaged by nameless unelected civil servants whilst the City money juigglers skim the cream is no way to do it.
The only way to cut fossil fuel consumption is to make it too expensive. Tax it. We have been taxing oil at hideously punitive rates for decades throughout Europe - if serious we have to impose those taxes harder and wider.
Carbon trading is just another chip being forged in the casinos of the city, nicely timed to slot in as the trading of "securitised Special Purpose Vehicles" hits the buffers, following mis-sold pensions, and endowment policies (remember those ?).