Fuel Rationing – and Green Party Policy Provides a Solution

A report commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil published on 18th January warns that Britain might face energy shortages by 2020.

This warning may come as a surprise to many. Similarly, it may surprise the reader that a solution to ensure fair and equal access to fuel as scarcities develop is a long-standing Green Party policy: tradable energy quotas (TEQs).

Under the scheme (which would also guarantee the government meets its commitment to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050), units of “energy credit” would be distributed free to all adults. Surplus units could be traded with no limit on the number of units owned by one person thus allowing people to use the credits according to their need whilst maintaining a cap on overall national consumption. Businesses and government would bid for their energy units at a weekly tender, creating revenue to help fund the infrastructure and training that the UK economy needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels.

Caroline LucasCaroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party and vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, said:

“TEQs have long been Green Party policy, as we believe that we need a fair and transparent system to reduce energy demand and give each person a direct connection to the carbon emissions associated with their lifestyle.

“The TEQs scheme would guarantee that the UK’s targeted carbon reductions are actually achieved, while ensuring fair shares of available energy.”

According to the report, the UK will be unprepared for energy scarcities without such a scheme and the resulting fuel poverty would leave the most vulnerable at risk plus the UK would fail to reduce emissions in line with the Climate Change Act.

If you would like to find out more about peak oil, please read our (Not So Solid) Foundations blog.

David M. Davison

PS This posting has been based largely on the news item found on the Green Party’s national site.

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One Comment to “Fuel Rationing – and Green Party Policy Provides a Solution”

  1. The Energy Bulletin has covered TEQs:
    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-01-26/peak-oil-crisis-british-proposal-tradable-energy-quotas

    The author finishes with this paragraph:
    “The British at least have come up with a comprehensive plan that may have the potential to equitably control carbon emissions and deal with some of the consequences of declining supplies of fossil fuels. While there are likely to be numerous problems and shortcomings should TEQs or something similar ever be implemented, the underlying principles seem sound. We should all wish them luck for they could provide a model for the rest of us.”

    David M. Davison

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