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TEQs & Cap & Share

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Joined: 20 Oct 2007
Posts: 184
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:44 am    Post subject: TEQs & Cap & Share Reply with quote

from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
to jo...@gmail.com,
date Fri, Apr 14, 2006 at 8:16 PM
subject Emissions trading

Dear Jo:

I notice from your submission in the Energy Review consultation that you advocate personal carbon rations and corporate ones. Feasta takes a

slightly different line. We think that the right to emit greenhouse gases is a human right which should be shared equally. Companies have no rights and

should buy their permits (ie ration coupons) from people. We are calling for a total reform of the EU ETS along these lines in the attached paper and

are mounting a campaign, which has not gone public yet, for this. Look at www.euemissions.org and let me know what you think!

Best wishes,



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
date Sat, Apr 15, 2006 at 12:15 AM
subject Re: Emissions trading

hi richard,

thanks for your thoughtful and useful response.

i completely agree with you that, morally, companies have no
rights to emit greenhouse gases, or any other form of pollution.
they are "externalising" their costs by disposing of waste
substances as by-products of their profit-making enterprise.

however, at the moment, they have legal and economic rights
accorded to them in most countries - sometimes by default -
as there is little to stop them. their enterprise is encouraged by
governments, whose policies value employment and cheap goods,
and the "growth" model.

there is a desperate need to re-analyse the relationship of the
corporate entities to the environment - the natural world cannot
continue to be used as a waste bin - and the cupboard of natural
resources has been mostly plundered - and is almost bare.

the annexation of common property that took place with the creation
of the allocations of emissions for the carbon trading scheme was
basically the creation of a large amount of wealth - handed out freely
to private companies and state energy producers. i fully accept that.

i also accept that people worked long and hard to set up this
form of "penalty" with the EUTS and the carbon trading scheme.
in some senses, it has had a beneficial impact - the price of
carbon is trading at E31 a tonne this week, i believe. if it rises
to E40 we'll be seeing some changes, i reckon.

i don't believe that carbon trading can in the long run actually
solve any of the problems we are facing - but if it makes any
difficulties for companies in their daily business of trashing the
planet, that's cool by me.

yes, carbon trading does not really put a top limit or cap on
the actual amount of carbon emissions - but it does have a
gearing impact on the economies. companies charge more
for their dirty goods because they have to buy carbon if they
want to expand their businesses. customers feel the pinch.
who stretches to breaking point first ? and when will some
markets start to crumble completely ?

i think that the apparent wealth of the carbon emissions allocations
will vapourise very soon.

the economies are under threat from resource depletion as well
as increasing environmental charges.

if we can't get the companies to behave green on the rationale of
carbon emissions, we can get them on price increases due to "peaks".

the whole of the industrialised world relies on cheap fuel and cheap
energy. take that away and the cost of everything rises.

i am following the "commodities rise" this month - we seem to
have reached "peak copper" on the back of "peak oil" - and
"peak silver" and gold and and and even orange juice - all rising.

for the moment, these rising costs of commodities simply gorge
the stock markets - people think they are getting richer. in a little
while money will start to devalue big time - you have been warned.
(in fact, your work probably warned me first !)

people will realise that the only way to use money fruitfully is to
buy tangibles - things that will outlast cheap fossil fuels and
diminishing supplies of cheap metals/minerals/resources : land,
sustainable buildings, renewable energy production, human labour,
low-carbon farming systems. a lot of businesses will go to the wall.
most of the pension funds and financial constructs will be worthless.
bricks and mortar will be useless because of the poor thermal qualities
of most buildings...

pretty soon, the only way to spend money and create wealth will
be to invest in clean technology, clean engineering, clean development,
clean energy. corporate sin will be wiped out. eventually. in the mean
time we have to teach the companies that carbon emissions are bad,
and one of the ways that has come to us is the EUTS. a bit sneaky,
a bit of a compromise, but it's having an impact.

i don't much care if the energy companies and the oil companies
are making vast amounts of profit just now - it will all be worthless
pretty soon. am i being too devil-may-care ?

i'm just happy that gas flaring in the niger has been condemned. i
think people are coming to their senses - slowly but surely.

please do not hesitate to respond if i have misunderstood anything.

contraction and convergence,

+44 77 17 22 13 96


from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
date Sat, Apr 15, 2006 at 7:06 AM
subject Re: Emissions trading

Dear Jo:

Thanks for your message. I entirely agree with everything you write except, possibly, what to do about it. I'd like to get a debate going across the EU

about the basis on which the ETS was set up. You seems to want this too - "there is a desperate need to re-analyse the relationship of the corporate

entities to the environment" - but you did not go on to sign the ARREST Declaration which calls for this. The rest of your message seems to suggest

that that was because the ETS is doing some good - I agree - and that the economic system will collapse under its own weight. I agree about that,

too, but I've been expecting that crash for a long time and am frightened by what I expect to happen when it does. This is the Enforced Localisation

scenario set out in another Feasta website - www.energyfuturesireland.com I am working to bring about the Fair Shares scenario set out on that site,

and ARREST is a step towards it.

We badly need people to sign up to ARREST before it goes public. Are you unable to sign the Declaration. If so, I'd be very grateful if you'd explain

why not because, if we can't get someone with your views to sign, who can we get?

Best wishes,



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
date Sat, Apr 15, 2006 at 9:39 AM
subject Re: Emissions trading

hi richard,

i have been thinking quite a bit about economics since i read
your e-mail to me yesterday. i am not an economist, and so my
understanding and analysis of the money system is quite crude.

for me, money can only maintain a value as long as (a) there are
things that can be purchased, and (b) there are persons with enough
money to purchase them.

the money system is a large machine operating to draw in
natural resources and human labour - thereby creating what
is known as "wealth" - an increased "standard of living".

there are gearing mechansims with the current money system,
such as the charging of interest on loans, and protected markets,
that concentrate the "wealth" in the hands of an decreasing
number of persons.

money does not get left in a hole in the ground - it has to be
invested in order for the process of "wealth creation" to go on.

natural wealth is being eroded - by that i mean that with increased
pollution and forest felling and water stress etc - there is less to
draw on from the natural world to create "wealth".

let's look at the great coca-cola - it has had to shut down in part
of asia somewhere because it is draining local water resources
too heavily.

the damage to the economies from these kinds of abuse and
drain of natural wealth, and of course the economic damages
from climate change, are certainly bringing enterprise to the
cusp of sustainability, the point at which catastrophe can
easily and quickly occur for the "wealth creation" companies.

one of the key natural resources that we have been standing
on to reach higher wealth in our economies is petroleum (and
petrochemical by-products and natural gas). cheap oil is now a
weak leg in the stool - oil and its relations are starting to be
much more expensive. refinery is stretched - so the price of
oil goes up. shipping is becoming more stretched - so the
price of shipping goes up and the price of oil goes up. firms
are going out of business. other firms are being "acquired".

i think that the carbon trading scheme is one of the things that
has been agreed to in europe to try to get some stability in the
current order - to avoid sudden collapse due to the chaotic
catastrophes i anticipate. the EUTS props up the money system
and the "wealth creation" system and the companies that do that.
this is called "stabilisation". it's not fair and it's not right, but it
allows us to continue with our civilisation for a while without major

the simple fact is that once the props for "wealth creation" fall
away - cheap oil being one of them - then for sure our civilisation
will be going into freefall. the customer base for any company
will shrink due to inflationary pressure. employment will drop away
because of poor company returns.

there are various other things going on that for me merit attention.

look at "fuel poverty" - the ideology that we should make sure that
our elderly and vulnerable citizens should have heating in their
homes. actually, they should have insulation in their homes, but
the governments and energy companies are selling the idea of
"fuel poverty" alleviation - state money going to the underprivileged
so they can continue to buy energy from companies. the governments
get the tax revenue and so can continue to support the "fuel poverty"
payments. the companies get the bills paid and can so continue to
supply energy. at what point will this system fail ? if the prices of
oil products rises out of the budget plans. energy will very soon take
up too much of a household budget for non-supported people, and
the number of people in "fuel poverty" will put excessive pressure
on the government's coffers. end of scheme. this is case (b).

while all of this is going on, peak oil starts to bite - and there are
national controls over fuel supplies (and hence energy supplies).
this means that the effective price of oil (with or without carbon
taxation or carbon rationing) will go too high for people who are
living on the edge of their personal budgets. this is case (a).

i started to read the PDF you attached in your e-mail.

some of the language became impassable without clarification
from you :-

i don't know for sure that for the large energy companies "permits...
have inflated their profits and enabled them to out-compete cleaner,
less energy-hungry firms".

i don't really believe that there is such a thing as "competition",
as i think all markets are cartels and prices are fixed and preferred
suppliers are fixed. the energy companies have a licence to make
as much money as they like. they have increased their prices
because of several stated reasons - none of them being the fact
that they now have to trade carbon.

anyway, most people don't care where their energy comes from,
or whether it is sourced greenly, just that they can have more energy.

i don't see competition. what i do see is a major reluctance at
the centre of the UK and europe to invest in renewable energy.
as if the governments believe that the corporations are going to
down their dirty tools by choice at some point and take up the
green banner.

"if, instead, emissions permits had been given to every EU
resident, we could each have been better off by around E280
a year." i beg your pardon ? that kind of yearly benefit is easily
being eaten up by energy inflation, and so it has not real value.
why should anyone try to sell this idea to me ?

if the energy companies have to buy my allocation of carbon
emissions credits in order to do business - then they will increase
their prices - and i will be no better off...

if the personal allocation of carbon emissions credits meant
that i had real power over a corporation's sourcing and pricing
strategy, then it would be valuable. E280 a year does not give
me shareholder power to change the course of a company's
policy. i am an energy consumer, and i am their customer -
and i will always make profit for them. that's how trade works.

it doesn't matter which energy company i buy my energy from,
clean or dirty, i will always pay roughly the same - and this
same will increase. uswitch.com - people end up paying
roughly the same even if they switch. belgium - mobile
telecommunications tariffs - you always pay roughly the
same whichever service provider you choose.

at the moment i can't really see how personal carbon emission
allocations will help the situation.

i can see how carbon rationing could help. if i can only buy
a certain amount of carbon a year, then the profit that companies
can make will be constrained.

please let me know if i have made any mistakes in my thinking.
i am looking to be educated by economists.

i haven't signed ARREST yet because of my failure to comprehend
all of the arguments from your point of view.




from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
date Sat, Apr 15, 2006 at 5:54 PM
subject Re: Emissions trading

hi again richard,

i have been thinking about the issue of "allocation" versus "ration"
whilst i have been on the bus and trains (i never fly and i've never
owned a car), and this is my conclusion.

my problem with tradeable personal carbon emission allocations
is the following : say for example each person in europe is issued
with an allocation. in order for energy-hungry and dirty businesses
to carry on doing business (given that they did not receive any
allocations to emit), then they will have to buy all the personal
allocations from individuals. then the companies will make their
goods and energy to market to us. they will SELL OUR ALLOCATIONS
BACK TO US. their prices will be higher because they will have had
to purchase our allocations from us - they have to make a profit in
order to survive in business.

this is why i think that carbon rationing is better : each person is
given a yearly ration of carbon emissions - and each time a person
purchases transportation, fuel, energy, food; each time they pay
their household bills, the carbon credits are deducted. quite some
people, towards the end of the year, will have to purchases others'
unused rations. companies cannot appropriate these rations. they
are and remain personal to the individual. because companies cannot
in any way appropriate the rations, their businesses will be contained.
we will not be able to buy more than a certain amount from them in
dirty energy terms.

if each person has a carbon emission allocation - and they can sell
it to a company - who will inflate the prices for their goods and energy -
this becomes the same as the "VAT problem" - only the "leaf node"
end consumer pays VAT - everyone else (companies) can claim it back.

please tell me i have misunderstood what FEASTA and nef are proposing
and that my problem is not real,



from n...@Queens-Belfast.AC.UK wrote:
At 17:38 17/04/2006

Dear all,

I've had another look at Jo's comments and am trying to re-convince myself
that personal allocation of carbon emissions credits is actually as
effective as we are hoping. Are we being too idealistic in assuming that the
energy companies won't simply buy the necessary credits and pass that cost
back to us? We've been getting our energy at what are, historically
speaking, fairly low prices. They know that as well as we do. I don't see
why they would suddenly have qualms that we mightn't buy if they push up
prices a bit, or even a good bit. And longterm. Here are Jo's remarks again:

"if the energy companies have to buy my allocation of carbon
emissions credits in order to do business - then they will increase
their prices - and i will be no better off...

if the personal allocation of carbon emissions credits meant
that i had real power over a corporation's sourcing and pricing
strategy, then it would be valuable. E280 a year does not give
me shareholder power to change the course of a company's
policy. i am an energy consumer, and i am their customer -
and i will always make profit for them. that's how trade works."

Has anyone a solid argument against that first paragraph? There seems to me
to be a pretty watertight logic in it. Is there anything to stop energy
companies raising prices until the consumer is really squeezed? "Free
market". As long as we need it from them and aren't able to produce it at
all/more cheaply ourselves, then they have the upper hand. And we haven't
been able to count on governments, still hooked on the growth model, not to
play right into that hand. How accountable are the energy firms to
government in giving solid reasons for increasing prices? As Jo says,
they've given any number of reasons recently for price hikes but haven't
mentioned carbon trading. (See article from 13 April at end of this e-mail
registering criticism of the ESB's price hikes. Has someone already been in
touch with the Consumer Assoc to see if they'll sign?)

By and large, people won't bark till they're squeezed. Now if and when that
squeeze scenario comes into play - when prices rise to such a level that a
large proportion of people are struggling to make ends meet - we have an
idea what'll happen. We'll see civic unrest of some form or another. And
people will BEGIN to tighten their energy belts. We'll also see turncoat
politicians - we've got a handful of those - gushily embracing renewables,
but at that stage they won't have the financial wherewithal, because of
exorbitant energy prices, to get the projects up and running.

All pretty bleak, I know, and familiar to you. But here's my question: to
what extent are national energy price regulators effective? I had a glance
around the web to see the general tack. I've pasted a few scraps from what I
found at the end of this e-mail.

Ok, so governments have signed up to "fairness" and no "unreasonable
prices". But we know very well how good they are at providing smooth-tongued
reasonings for price hikes, cutbacks, etc. whenever they see the need - i.e.
when growth is at stake.

So even if we got ETS amended acc. to the idea of personal allocations, how
would it in fact ensure all consumers would be in a position to cover their
basic energy needs? Am I wrong in thinking that would require stricter
regulation of energy prices and markets? How can we be sure the energy
companies won't just see ETS as an administrative hiccup they have to endure
to keep things rolling along (a la 'yes, yes we'll buy your credits. here
you are. now shut up and pay our prices)?

Of course, the energy companies aren't stupid. They have a fair idea of what
price is simply too high - what price will dampen demand. But I think that
price is significantly higher than what we are paying now, even though we
already have 'fuel poverty' happening. They will know how to drip-feed us

Apologies for not having kept this succinct. If you're still with me, I'd be
keen to know your views.

Best wishes,

Energy price regulation
Article on the ESB:

"Energy regulator criticised for approving ESB price hikes
13/04/2006 - 10:35:53
The energy regulator is coming under fire today for granting two price rises
to the ESB last year amid reports that the company made a profit of ?500m in

The profits are believed to be largely the result of the increased charges
to customers that were approved by the Commission for Energy Regulation.

Michael Kilcoyne of the Consumer Association has accused the regulator of
failing to do the job it was appointed to do.

"There was a regulator put in place whose job it is to ensure that customers
get electricity at a reasonable price," he said.

"It seems to me that the regulator is more inclined to assist the ESB and
ensure they make huge profits at the same time as the consumer is being
robbed." "

You'll find that article here:

Energy price regulation

FOR THE UK (from a review from 2002):

"The Government's March 1998 Green Paper noted that securing a fair deal for
all domestic customers, including the most vulnerable, was at the heart of
the Government's review of utility regulation. It called for the gas and
electricity regulators to establish an action plan to ensure efficiency,
choice and fairness in the provision of gas and electricity to disadvantaged


"Retail Charges All electricity consumers are now able to choose their
electricity retail supplier. Currently, all host electricity retailers are
required to publish their deemed and standing offers (including tariffs) in
the Victorian Government Gazette.

Under section 13 of the Electricity Industry Act 2000, the Victorian
Government has reserve powers to further review and amend the published
prices charged to customers if it considers that adequate competition has
not developed and that prices are being set at unreasonable levels."

Dr. Nicola Creighton
Lecturer in German Studies
Queen's University
Belfast BT7 1NN
Tel: 028 9097 1401


from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.netwrote:
On 4/17/06

Dear All:

Nicola asks if anyone has a solid argument against Jo's point:

"if the energy companies have to buy my allocation of carbon
emissions credits in order to do business - then they will increase
their prices - and i will be no better off...

As I see it Jo won't be indisputably better off unless she lives in a
country in which, under the present system, electricity companies have been
getting permits free but have been charging their customers the market price
for them. I haven't heard that this has been going on in Britain and
Ireland, where the regulators control power prices.

Assuming the British regulator is not currently allowing the price of
permits to be charged under the present system but would allow it under the
one we are proposing, Jo's position would depend on how much energy she
used. She would be worse off unless she used less fossil energy overall than
her emissions allocation.

Under our system, the use of permits will push power prices up. This is
good, because it enourages people to use less and reates opportunities for
the development of renewable power sources. However, our system also
protects people who cause less emissions than their allocation from the
effets of those higher prices.

Best wishes,



Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 22:08:41 +0200
From: "Brian Davey" <bri...@googlemail.com
To: "Richard Douthwaite" <ric...@douthwaite.net
Subject: Re: ARREST

To repeat what Richard is saying in a slighly different way. Jo has
got things the wrong way round. It?s not so much about being better
off as about not being worse off. Energy prices will inevitably go up
in any of the carbon restraint systems. In our system (Feasta
proposal) people have an income from the sale of their permits to
offset this rise in prices. Whether they would gain more from the sale
of their permits than they would pay out again extra in rising prices
depends on the carbon intensity of their individual lifestyle. They
may gain overall on balance or they may lose on balance in our system.
If their direct and indirect purchases of carbon fuels and goods that
embody carbon fuels is lower than the allocation they are given each
year then they will probably gain. (Bearing in mind that the public
will also have pay the transactions costs of buying and selling
certificates, rather as you have to pay out to get your foreign
exchange changed). However, in the current ETS, carbon prices and
energy prices rise and they get absolutely nothing at all to offset

To repeat this again in yet another way: In the proposed Feasta system
the higher energy prices go, because of higher carbon costs, the more
people will also be getting back from the sale of their certificates
as they are the beneficiaries of the higher carbon prices. They are
both owners of the use rights to the atmosphere and consumers. Of
course, as consumers, they then have to pay more for their goods made
with carbon fuels. In the current ETS system the carbon costs and
energy prices will go sky high but the public will get none of this
(unless they are shareholders in companies being given the
certificates). They are consumers but not also owners....



from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
date Mon, Apr 17, 2006 at 12:58 PM
subject Re: Emissions trading

Dear Jo:

Thanks for your reply. Two points:

1. You do not have to agree with Feasta's proposal for allocating emissions rights to individuals to sign up to the ARREST Declaration. You just have

to want the basis on whih the EU ETS has been set up to be re-examined.

2. You seem to want each person to be given a non-tradable carbon ration which they would need to use on every purchase along with cash. The

admin. costs of this would be huge, far greater than the costs the public had to carry entailed by the Feasta scheme.

Best wishes,



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
date Tue, Apr 18, 2006 at 1:30 AM
subject Re: Emissions trading

Hi again Richard,

I hope you had a nice spring break - and I'm hoping you actually took one !

1. ARREST : I shall consider the declaration in full and think about
my position.

2. The concept of Carbon Rationing is very simple and can be easily
as all forms of energy and fuel are highly controlled.

Fossil Fuels and Electricity do not grow on trees : someone has to provide them,
and the supply systems are monitored, audited and taxed.

If Carbon Rationing were to be implemented, every time I trade in fossil fuels
or electricity, for example I buy a bus ticket, pay by direct debit for my
electricity, buy petrol or any product made of plastic, my individual
Carbon Credit Account, held at the National Carbon Bank, can be adjusted,
either through co-presentation of my Carbon Ration Credit Card, or automatically
via my bank.

Carbon Rationing makes a lot of sense, because it is a direct way to place an
absolute cap on Carbon Dioxide emissions, and an easy way to gradually reduce
the amount over the years.

It is no different in concept to a negative "Reward Card", used by many stores,
using exactly the same credit card and debit card technology we are all used to.

It would be a simple thing to add facilities such as purchasing extra Carbon
Credits from the frugal for those who exceed their rations. It would also be
possible to calculate what portion of other purchases, such as food from a
supermarket, have a Carbon factor, and deduct that also from a Ration.

I believe Carbon Rationing is the fastest and surest way to place a
cap on carbon emissions - if our consumption of energy and materials
is constrained - the companies and their production are also
constrained as a direct result.

More at a later date no doubt, (I liked your interview on
big-picture.tv by the way),



from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
to jo...@gmail.com,
date Tue, Apr 18, 2006 at 6:52 AM
subject Fwd: Re: ARREST

Dear Jo;

Your message has started a discussion in the group. I thought you might like to see it. Start at the end with Nicola's message.

Incidentally, you won't have both carbon rationing and the ETS. And your form of arbon rationing ignored the energy embodied in every product. This

is why David Fleming's TEQs only cover 45% of the energy people use. Read what is said about TEQs in the Great Emissions Give-Away leaflet.

That was all worked out with David, who is a key member of Feasta. The next briefing will be his. It comes out this week on nuclear energy. Feasta

people don't have to agree on everything - it's more stimulating that way.




from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
date Tue, Apr 18, 2006 at 9:47 AM
subject Re: Emissions trading

Dear Jo:

Brian Davey has a blog on the euemissions site, though it's not easy to find. Here's this morning's posting, which I thought you would like.

Cheers, Richard


The ETS - Like a Withdrawal Programme Organised by Addicts
Once you really start examining it depth it is difficult not to see the EU?s Emissions Trading Scheme as anything else but a fraud ? and a double fraud

at that. A fraud perpetrated against the environment and a fraud perpetrated against Europe?s citizens.

There is hardly anything else at the moment more important than the need to prevent global climate catastrophe so you would think that Europe?s

policy response to save us from the oncoming catastrophe would have been announced in a fanfair of publicity whose aim was to explain how it

worked and what it was all about. Television programmes and newspaper articles would have explained the mechanisms. Politicians would have been

interviewed about it. A serious effort would have been made to make the idea accessible and easily understandable. Throughout Europe different

political groups would have held meetings about it. There would have been resolutions at party conferences. Every time NGOs and politicians spoke

out about the need to deal with climate change a part of their discussions would be a commentary on how it was going with the ETS.

Not a bit of it?..

The European Commission said that it wanted, and wants, wide public participation in the ETS yet when it was set up only a tiny number of

organisations commented on the design ? a few trade associations and industry groups and just two NGOs. So who was observing the process?

Who did notice and understand what was going on? Certainly not the European Parliament which barely discussed the issue.

Such a situation deserves an explanation and it is difficult not to think that there was so little publicity because little publicity was wanted. A small group

of officials, politicians and industrial interests didn?t want the public to know what was going on. They were carving up ownership rights to the earth?s

atmosphere for themselves, they knew that a lot of money was at stake, and they were wanted to set up the system to suit their own interests and they

didn?t see it as anyone else?s business.

But perhaps it was worse than that. When I?m not writing blogs in my spare time for the ARREST Campaign, I work in and around the mental health

services. At first sight there?s no apparent connection between these two activities but over time I?ve developed a feeling that this there is something

eerily familiar about the ETS. To resort to metaphor it is like an organisation set up to control the behaviour of energy addicts in order to get them to

withdraw gradually from a habit that has deadly consequences for the climate. However, just like most drug addicts or alcoholics, most of the energy

addicts whose behaviour is to be influenced have no intention of really changing their ways. With drug addicts everything else takes second place to

the addiction ? which is the reason they will lie to themselves and to their nearest and dearest, cheat and steal. Indeed one has to be careful that drug

addicts don?t start using the networks set up to treat addiction as a place to deal to earn some money to further feed their own habit.

In this case too the carbon addicts are not particular concerned about the damage to the health of the environment, the fact that there might be a

runaway climate catastrophe that will draw the world into the abyss. They have far more important things to concern them - their ?need? for growth, for

creating employment opportunities, their need to respond to the pressure of international competition. The way they see it, if they really do withdraw

from the carbon drug it will hurt and so there is plenty of pretend compliance but no commitment for real.

When they set up the ETS the officials and the companies knew as they did so that they didn?t really mean it for real and they didn?t really want the

public looking too closely at what was going on. It was like a drug withdrawal programme designed with the cooperation of the addicts ? but in this

case it is more than that it is not tightly controlled and it is worse than the fact that are plenty of opportunities for backsliding. It?s like a therapy

establishment taken over by the dealers. In this disgraceful excuse for a policy, far from us having a ?polluter pay? principle we have the chief polluters

making extra profits from the public when they pass on the costs of using the certificates which they were given for free, making money at the

expense of the energy poor and blaming the climate crisis. They are taking over ownership of the use rights to the Earth?s atmosphere in a complicit

relationship with the officials and politicians who are supposed to be controlling them.

No wonder there is little publicity and little understanding of what?s going on. What?s going on is a disgrace and they don?t want the public looking too


Posted by Brian Davey 2 on 04/17 at 07:37


from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
date Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 11:22 PM
subject Re: Emissions trading

hi richard,

thanks for that cheery and breezy posting from brian davey.

my opinion about the european emissions trading scheme -
it's a poor compromise built on some good intentions - that's
why there's no consensus fanfare.

it was europe saying "something has to be done" - then taking
advice and sifting through the possible ideas to follow through
with and then picking a dud. this is what they do sometimes.

it's not necessarily the last thing europe will do - nor the thing
it values the most to do - but it's SOMETHING - a step - even if
it's in the wrong direction at least they're moving.

a lot of people in europe GENUINELY believe that the emissions
trading scheme is hot cakes - and their research and figures back
them up - it doesn't take much massage to see good things in
the results.

actually, it's a sick horse to back, but just now it's running well.

i can't really get with brian's analysis, i'm sorry to say. it's all
too "socialist worker" or "evangelist preacher" for me. he's in
the mental health game so he should be able to recognise the
"ardent conspiracy theorist trap" - shouldn't he ? i think he is
asserting things he has little basis for - about the attitudes of
others and whole groups - and that makes him a fundamentalist.

can't he cut europe a little slack and realise that the enormous
administration that is the EU cannot possibly come up with a
honed and tuned system first time round ? it's not malicious
intention that has produced this ETS flop, just red tape...



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
date Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 11:24 PM
subject Re: Emissions trading

hi richard,

can you answer me on my ideas about carbon rationing please ?
i want to know if i'm being too optimistic about the picture i paint...

2. The concept of Carbon Rationing is very simple and can be easily
as all forms of energy and fuel are highly controlled.

Fossil Fuels and Electricity do not grow on trees : someone has to provide them,
and the supply systems are monitored, audited and taxed.

If Carbon Rationing were to be implemented, every time I trade in fossil fuels
or electricity, for example I buy a bus ticket, pay by direct debit for my
electricity, buy petrol or any product made of plastic, my individual
Carbon Credit Account, held at the National Carbon Bank, can be adjusted,
either through co-presentation of my Carbon Ration Credit Card, or automatically
via my bank.

Carbon Rationing makes a lot of sense, because it is a direct way to place an
absolute cap on Carbon Dioxide emissions, and an easy way to gradually reduce
the amount over the years.

It is no different in concept to a negative "Reward Card", used by many stores,
using exactly the same credit card and debit card technology we are all used to.

It would be a simple thing to add facilities such as purchasing extra Carbon
Credits from the frugal for those who exceed their rations. It would also be
possible to calculate what portion of other purchases, such as food from a
supermarket, have a Carbon factor, and deduct that also from a Ration.

I believe Carbon Rationing is the fastest and surest way to place a
cap on carbon emissions - if our consumption of energy and materials
is constrained - the companies and their production are also
constrained as a direct result.




from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
date Sat, Apr 22, 2006 at 10:45 AM
subject Re: Emissions trading

Dear jo;

Before I can answer your question, I need to know if you would allow people to sell any unused ration units, or, if they ran out, they could buy more.

Wartime ration coupons were not transferable.

Best wishes,



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
date Sat, Apr 22, 2006 at 2:23 PM
subject Re: Emissions trading

hi richard,

thanks for coming back to me on this one.

for me it is very important to distinguish between
"end consumers" of energy/resources, such as
ourselves, and the "transition consumers" such
as public services and companies.

it is true that "transition consumers" also have
an "end consumer" function, particularly if they
are in the business of electricity generaion -
and are some of the largest users of energy.

in order to put an absolute cap on energy
consumption (and therefore carbon emissions
since over 90% of our energy is still fossil fuel
derived) - both "end consumers" and "transition
consumers" need to have their activities capped.

i am afraid that with any form of carbon taxation,
carbon rationing or carbon allocation system,
"transition consumers" will be able to financially
offset their acquisition of more energy by pushing
the costs onto "end consumers". and those
"transition consumers" who are also "end consumers"
will also offset their "end consumer" use by pushing
the costs onto non-profit-making "end consumers".
double whammy for ordinary energy "end consumers".

so i try to separate rationing into two areas : for me,
individual carbon rations are intended to be used
and traded between "end consumers" - deliberately
excluding consumers who are also "transition".

that is, the carbon ration of ordinary individual
"end consumers" are tradeable only in this set,
where profit is not a motive this is ethical. no
corporate entities should have the right to purchase
carbon rations from genuine "end consumers".

so that covers the first area of rationing : individuals.
the other area of carbon rationing for me is those
entities that are corporate and profit-making. whether
they are only "end consumers", "transition consumers"
or a combination of the two, their primary motive in
using energy is to create monetary profit, and rations
for them should be firmly controlled.

i am in essence advocating a "twin cap", with corporate
and individual carbon rations kept strictly separate. this
means that i can then accept the carbon trading systems
so beloved of europe and the north eastern american states,
albeit much reviewed to make sure that wealth has not been
appropriated from common ownership.

within the population of ordinary individual "end consumers"
there are those who have natural needs for more or less energy,
eg in the case of fuel poverty and long-term illness, and these
persons and households should be permitted to buy more rations
from their equivalents, or receive them as charity gifts.

in the case of wartime rations, it can be fairly accurately calculated
the calories required by any person. in terms of energy rations, it
is not always obvious who might need more fuel and heating. hence
the tradeable carbon rations.

but individuals should not trade with profit-making enterprises.

if the set of individual "end consumers" has a total fixed carbon ration,
then this automatically regulates the total carbon economy of the
corporate "mixed consumers". it's like a budget - the more tightly
controlled the carbon budget - the more tightly controlled become
the total carbon emissions. trading carbon allocations between
companies and countries might not achiveve tight control, or at
least, not very quickly.



Date: Mon, 1 May 2006 08:28:17 +0100
From: Richard Starkey <Ric...@mbs.ac.uk
To: Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
Subject: Re: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading

Hi Richard

More than happy for you to circulate and post. Yes, and I'd like to receive
the feasta e-mail traffic.



PS Can I suggest that feasta come up with acronym for its proposal to make
future corresponding efficient. Suggestions: FP - feasta propsal, FCQ -
feasta carbon quotas etc etc


from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
to Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,...
date Mon, May 1, 2006 at 12:03 PM
subject Fwd: Re: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading

Dear All:

Both Richard Starkey of the Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester (who has been researching DTQs for some years) and David Fleming have

commented on our group's emissions proposals and have given their permission for their comments to be circulated to us as a group and later

posted on the Feasta website so that others an follow/join in the discussions. I asked both if they would like to receive the group's e-mails and

Richard has asked to join the list, so please include him in general mailings in future. David has not yet replied.

I am sending Richard and David's comments in another e-mail. Richard's paper on DTQs, to which he refers in the e-mail I am forwarding, can be

downloaded from http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/research/theme2/final_reports/t3_22.pdf

Note Richard's suggestion on acronyms below.

Best wishes,



from Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net
to Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,...
date Mon, May 1, 2006 at 12:07 PM
subject Fwd: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading

From: "Richard Starkey" <r...@manchester.ac.uk

To: "Richard Douthwaite" <ric...@douthwaite.net
Subject: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 18:45:12 +0100

Dear Richard

A while ago you mentioned in an e-mail that you?d be interested in my views on the feasta proposal (FP) set out in feasta?s 8-pager on EU ETS. Sorry

it?s taken me a while to get back to you on this. Work and all that! My comments are attached. Prior to sending them, I ran them past David

(Fleming). This morning David sent me a characteristically robust and rotweiller-like response to FP! He said it would be OK to forward his

comments to you so please find at the end of this e-mail. I?m sure that following your discussions with David last week they won?t be unfamiliar to you,

and following your long acquaintance with David, neither will his style!!!

I?m not sure I agree with David?s first point. Individuals receive an average quantity of emissions permits in any given year. The cost of emissions

permits to firms will be passed on to individuals, who will, in essence, purchase them back as part of the price of goods and services. Assuming

price is stable and full costs are passed on, then, irrespective of the price of units, an individual is better of if the emit below average (as they sell an

average quantity of permits but buy back a below-average quantity). Conversely, irrespective of the price they are worse off if they emit above

average. Hence, everyone would be incentivized not to increase their purchase of fossil fuel, but to consume a below-average amount.

As I have only received David?s comments today, I have not had time to respond to all of them, but will do so in due course and copy you in.

Best regards

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Pariser Building
University of Manchester
PO Box 88
M60 1QD

T: +44 (0)161 306 3763 (direct)
F: +44 (0)161 306 3255
E: r...@manchester.ac.uk
Tyndall website: www.tyndall.ac.uk


Dear Richard,

Thank you for sending me a copy of your comments to Richard Douthwaite about
his PCA-variant. I think you are too kind in your comments. This is how I
would see it:

1. The scheme would supply consumers with a major incentive to increase
their consumption of fossil fuels. The higher their consumption, the higher
the price of units, and the greater the revenue they would earn from their
sales of units.

2. The scheme would require the energy companies to reduce their supply of
fossil fuels as the budget reduced. The scheme would therefore set up a
fatal inconsistency between (1) and (2), and it would almost immediately
break down.

There is nothing more to be said about it, really. It is a design that does
not function, and it should be abandoned. However, if anyone was interested
in jumping on its grave, the following could be added:

3. It does not provide a ration to protect individuals' consumption. A
ration is an essential element of any scheme, whether it is in the context
of climate change or hydrocarbon depletion. As the budget declined, there
would be greater competition for the quantity-constrained supply. Without
an allocation / entitlement / ration as in a properly specified rationing
scheme, that competition would be played out in money, and those with most
money would get the energy they needed. The rest would get none. This flaw
in the design would of course be fatal on its own.

4. It does not supply any of the "common purpose" or "collective
motivation" which is contained in TEQs. Individuals do not need to interact
with each other, except in hoping that others will consume as much energy as
possible to keep the price up. Moreover, there is a fatal us-and-them
element in the scheme: the opportunity-set and incentives confronting the
energy suppliers would be the exact opposite to the opportunity-set and
incentives confronting consumers. The scheme rules out the possibility of
any interaction between them other than recrimination.

5. The scheme is specified in money, despite the initial distribution of
units. One of the essential conditions for the effectiveness of a scheme is
that it should be specified in terms of energy. If it is specified in terms
of money, calculations of rational action merge with the whole field of
household budgets and the distribution of wealth: the energy issue itself as
a specific decision-field is crowded out. If it is specified in terms of
energy, against a visible Budget, then calculations of rational behaviour
are made in terms of energy.

6. The scheme is specified as a means of furthering an agenda which is
nothing to do with the energy issue itself. It is about redistributing
wealth away from business, and especially large energy companies, and
towards individuals. This may or may not be a good thing to do, but if it
is done it should be done using instruments which are specifically designed
to do it - by a revised tax regime, for instance. To use a scheme for
essential rationing as a vehicle for playing out debatable liberal idealism
in this way is improper: it is fatally flawed in practice and it is
indefensible in ethics.

Richard knows that I disagree with him about his scheme - we argued about it
at length in Dublin. You have my permission to forward the above remarks to
him if you wish. Our friendship is based on common endeavour, not common



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
cc Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,...
date Tue, May 2, 2006 at 12:40 AM
subject Re: Re: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading

hello feasta people,

i have just come back from flying the red (and black) flag
in plymouth, and having spent all day talking basic economics
with this assorted bunch of marxists, anarchists, greenfoes,
etc, and after having read the enormous news about EU ETS :-


and check the carbon trading "spite" we got together on this month's
climate & energy report :-


i really have to assert my position as being "leaf and branch".

in other words, those energy consumers who are solely "leaf nodes",
just end consumers should have a different scheme to those who
are "branches" in the energy chain - as the "branches" are making
profits from the generation and distribution of energy.

why do i say this, when the "branches" are providing a "public service"
in the provision of energy ?

because those entities that are making profit from the generation
and distribution of energy are working to different rules than the
end consumers.

there is no such thing as competition, which i consider to be a
smokescreen ideology (sorry, european union), as all energy is
coming from a cartel. therefore "market economics" does not apply.

the EU ETS has been a compromise to try to get the corporates
on board with some facade of greenarity, but it clearly isn't working.
the "markets" (the price the consumers pay, effectively) has been
distorted, but no real carbon emission reductions have been
"incentivised" for the corporates. they just over-shot with their
allocation demands...now the price of carbon has tumbled.
winners ? nobody.

if the "leaf node" end consumers get DOMESTIC tradeable quotas,
i.e. carbon rationing for the end-of-chain individual consumer, this
will have the concrete and immediate impact of placing a definite
carbon cap on the whole business. anything else will continue to
be a shilly-shallying willy-nilly fudge as far as i'm concerned.

sure, we can play at having corporate Carbon Trading, as long as
it's an ENTIRELY separate "market" to Carbon Rationing. and we
can give the rights to the citizens (who sell their allocations to the
corporations, who sell them back to us in the form of energy bills).

Carbon Rationing, as alloted to individuals, is the only scheme i
can see as creating a proper "incentive" for corporates to shape up.

if we have Carbon Rationing, this implies a total Carbon Budget,
and the corporates will have to play each other off WITHIN that
to get their business profit. boundary conditions. C&C.


+44 77 17 22 13 96

PS i would like to be able to follow the whole dialogue in the right
order. should i keep struggling to read the emails or get time-ordered
stuff on the website ?


from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
cc Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,...
date Tue, May 2, 2006 at 10:00 AM
subject Re: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading

Jo, if you've been talking to marxists, anarchists, greenfoes etc then you
will have been talking to a group, everyone of whom will be opposed to the
government's ID scheme. This is relevant to your comment that you are in
favour of Domestic Tradeable Quotas for individuals. To administer such a
scheme every individual would have to have a carbon account monitored by a
public authority on which all their carbon transactions would need to be
noted - every time they bought petrol and every place that they bought it,
every time they bought electricity and so on- this would give the state a
mass of information about citizens - e.g. every time and place they fill up
with petrol would track their journeys everywhere - which isn't really
compatible with being opposed to the ID scheme too....in addition to which it
would be hugely administratively expensive to set up and to administer.

What's more if you regulate at the tree trunk you don't need to regulate at
the leaves - because in all the energy that feeds the leaves comes up through
the trunk into the leaves. (All metaphors tend to go horribly wrong at some
point - a tree is a sun, earth, air interchange - the usefulness of the
metaphor only lies in the way that a trunk is a single entity which then
splits into entities, branches, which split again into more entities and so
on until you get tens of thousands of leaves. The flow of energy through the
economy is like that - it starts at not one trunk (in that sense the metaphor
is not quite exact but good enough for now) but at a very small number of
places (of import and production) and then, at later stages keeps on
branching through more and more companies with more and more uses until it
reaches millions of end consumers.

If you control the energy flow at the base of the trunk you don't need to
ration again at the level of the leaves. As far as GHG emissions the job has
been done. It is true that you need to cope with the consequences of this
restriction of fossil fuel inputs into the economy at the level of the leaves
(consumers will have to cope/adjust) - but this is not the same thing. If the
amount of fossil fuels entering the economy through the trunk is limited then
the price of fossil fuels will rise and the price of final goods will rise
too depending on their fossil fuel content. This price rise would be a result
of the fact that supply has been held back administratively - it is a result
of the fact that the rationing job would have been done.

So you don't need to do it again - but each individual consumer does, of
course, have to find a way of coping with the rising prices. Rising prices
mean that for a given purchasing power consumers can have less of something
because there is less there to be had. So individual consumers will then be
obliged to get on their bikes rather than into their cars, start insulating
their hot water heaters, turning down their thermostats etc - responding to
the administratively imposed shortage. Every individual will have different
'after the big event' adjustments in response to price changes to make -
because we all have different lifetyles and different levels of purchasing
power available. And poor people with a low income will find these
adjustments difficult to make. One way of looking at this situation is that
prices going up is a way of allocating who the losers are going to be in a
shortage. As prices go up those with purchasing power can still continue
buying - those without purchasing power get driven out of the market - they
are the people who live the shortage in real life. This is one of the
consequences that feasta addresses when it argues for handing out permits to
the people on an equal per capita basis - so that the primary fossil fuel
suppliers at the base of the trunk would have to buy the permits from the

Please note - this would not require that all the transactions of each citizen
would need to be checked. The checking only occurs in order to ensure that
the primary energy suppliers at the base of the trunk have permits to cover
all their imports and sales....The only thing that would need to be noted
(indirectly) would be whether citizens had sold their permits or not.

To summarise - using this metaphor I am not too happy with - in theproposed
feasta scheme because the rationing job is done at the base of the trunk it
doesn't need to be done again. However, at the level of the leaves
(individual consumers) there is a need to ensure that the distribution of the
resulting economic and social fall out is done fairly - and many people might
need help to adjust their lifestyles (advice about energy saving, support
networks like eco teams etc). Thus the community level stuff would still be
needed and very helpful to enable people to cope - but what you wouldn't need
to do the rationing at an individual level again.

As a final note - the archeologist Joseph Tainter argues that every
civilisation collapses because, in the end, it becomes so hopeless complex,
that it becomes impossible to co-ordinate and hold together. You can see that
happening in the acceleration in the rate at which local government and the
helth service us being reorganised - and the way in which a growing number of
officials endlessly interfere in the work of front line staff (e.g. nurses)
imposing more and more procedures which are supposed to 'improve'
performance but are actually an interfering distraction with getting on with
the job. You can see it to in the regular mega breakdowns in the computer
systems and administration procedures in housing benefits, social security,
the passport office...you name it....In Tainters view of cvilisation more and
more levels of managers and specialists, and more and more complicated
procedures, add less and less to and then end up as a burden which drags
society backwards. As the senior managers cannot accept that it is their very
existence and that it is their interference with front line operations that
is the problem their response to the gathering crisis is to accelerate yet
further the process with yet further reorganisations and yet more superficial
bright ideas and new forms of interference .....so what has this to do with
carbon trading? It has this to do with it - we need a system that is as
simple as possible. For Gods sake save us from people with more and more good
which would require hugely complicated systems to set up, tying individual
citizens in bureaucratic knots, enhancing Big Brother loss of privacy and
civil liberties....I'm not an anarchist Jo but if anarchists think this then
they have lost touch with what anarchism means!

Brian Davey


from Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk
to Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,
Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
cc Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,...
date Tue, May 2, 2006 at 12:47 PM
subject Response to Brian - ID cards, civil liberties and technology

Dear Brian

Have just read your e-mail responding to Jo. I wanted to address the point you raise about ID cards and civil liberties. A number of people have

suggested that, under DTQs, the carbon card would be like an ID card, and would therefore somehow infringe civil liberties. In fact, as I note in my

paper on DTQs, even the most vehement opponents of the particular ID card scheme proposed in the UK - e.g. Liberty and Privacy International -

concede that it is possible to have an ID card scheme that does not infringe civil liberties. Furthermore, I argue that a carbon card would, anyway, not

be like an ID card. I attach the relevant extract from my paper.

If, under DTQs, one surrendered carbon units from ones account, then one part of the state would have a record of all one's carbon transactions.

(However, if one sold one's units immediately upon receipt and then bought all units at the point of sale, the state would have no record of any of the

transactions subsequent to the sale.) How different is one part of the state having a record of all your carbon transaction to a bank having a record of

all your financial transactions? Well, to some extent it is, in that DTQs would be a compulsory arrangement with a state body, whilst the latter is a

voluntary arrangement with a private body. However, one part of the state having this information does not in and of itself constitute an infringement of

civil liberties, assuming that, for instance, the requirements of the data protection act are properly followed and other parts of the state (or private

companies) couldn?t inappropriately trawl the data.

With regard to technology, I agree complexity is an issue, but a short response would be that DTQs would be based on credit card technology and

could use a lot of the existing infrastructure such as POS terminal and card readers. This technology has been in place for 30 years and seems to be

pretty robust. I accept that there are still issues of government procurement and so forth, but I don?t think it?s self-evidently true that the scheme would

be too complex to work.

Of course, I accept that even if it was agreed that DTQs could be made to work technologically and didn?t have to infringe civil liberties, it could still be

argued that the additional cost of setting up and running the scheme would not bring sufficient additional benefits to justify it.


Richard (Starkey)


Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Pariser Building
University of Manchester
PO Box 88
M60 1QD
T: +44 (0)161 306 3763 (direct)
F: +44 (0)161 306 3255
E: r...@manchester.ac.uk
Tyndall website: www.tyndall.ac.uk


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:47 am    Post subject: TEQs & Cap & Share Reply with quote



from Marion Wells <br...@dircon.co.uk
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
"F. Richard Douthwaite" <ric...@douthwaite.net,...
cc Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,...
date Tue, May 2, 2006 at 6:17 PM
subject Re: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading

Dear Jo

I am completely with you that "Carbon Rationing is the only scheme". An
equal ration of Carbon Quotas must be given to every resident, within the
total Carbon Budget. This is a ground rule of C&C and of our work.

Your image of leaf and branch is very helpful. With the ETS I understand the
"leaves" as the 11,500 large companies it is dealing with, each of which is
trying to hoodwink the regulators, and branches probably the distributors
that are making such huge profits - it is useful to put different operations
into different conceptual categories. Caroline Lucas is involved (chair of?)
the committee looking at incorporating airlines into the ETS. She said it
could destabilise the whole scheme because they would be able to buy
whatever permits they need without putting up the price of cheap flights
significantly. This is yet another category in an approach that fiddles
among the leaves (or the other metaphor: the "downstream" nature of the

Returning to your tree metaphor, I would go for the trunk. The primary
purpose is to ensure that the economy (industry, business, utilities,
individuals) CANNOT use more than the Carbon Budget. This will not be
guaranteed if someone has to monitor all the users, not just the 11,500 big
companies. The only way to ensure that the Carbon Budget is not exceeded is
to require the few companies that bring carbon fuel into the economy to
surrender carbon quotas ? the ration that has been distributed to
individuals ? whenever they sell carbon fuel. They would buy from
individuals, and the money would go to individuals.

Like you, I?m ambivalent about Carbon Trading among all the users of carbon
fuel, it could be chaotic and subject to abuse and I don?t see why it is



from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk,
cc Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,...
date Tue, May 2, 2006 at 9:52 PM
subject Re: Response to Brian - ID cards, civil liberties and technology

Dear Richard,

You say that DTQs are not necessarily linked with the ID cards scheme. True,
not necssarily, but at the moment it seems quite likely that they would be.
The problem is that DTQs appear to have been considered already by the
government as being linked to the proposed ID card. This is because ID cards
are being seen by government as not only being about security against
crime/terrorism but linked to state data bases containing data about
individuals of relevance in the provision of public services. Thus, when DTQs
were mentioned in the Daily Telegraph on 2nd July 2005, in an article by
Charles Clover, titled "Energy ration cards for everyone planned", Clover
wrote that:

"Everyone in Britain could be issued with a 'personal carbon allowance' - a
form of energy rationing - within a decade, under proposals being considered.
This would be contained electronically on a 'ration card', which could be the
proposed ID card or a 'carbon card' based on supermarket loyalty cards. "

Part of the reason for (danger of) setting up this sort of scheme as part of
the national ID system is that it would minimise the costs to government to
st them up together. If they are setting up an electronic system and data
base for everyone, and distributing a card to everyone one, they are likely
to be tempted to add this function to it as well, rather than setting up yet
another scheme in parallel.

So yes, in theory the government could have a scheme administered separately -
but there again it seems that some people in high places at least already are
considering it as being linked with the ID card, if only for reasons of admin
convenience in the introduction process.

If it was administered separately - then I take your point that one could sell
all one's DTQs straight off and then buy them at the point of sale in one's
energy transaction - in which case people doing this would just see DTQs as
representing a variable price mark-up to the fuel price - they would pay two
prices whenever they bought fuel rather than one - the fuel price and a
separate spot dtq carbon price. This could be done without needing to go
through a personal electronic account. This would not be very convenient,
however, particularly if there was a large variability in the spot price. But
if individuals did do this David Fleming's argument that people would be
obliged to notice and monitor the carbon content of their fuel usage wouldn't
apply to these people - they would be more likely only to notice the
immediate monetary variable (the spot price) far more than a running total on
their usage of a budget measured in physical units.

Richard, you also ask - how important is it anyway that one part of the state
has a record of your carbon transactions and you compare it to a bank having
a record of your financial transactions. You don't seem to see it as all that
different - Well I'm afraid that I do. The state is the one part of society
that has powers to use force and compulsion in relation to citizens (or
'subjects' as we are supposed to be in the UK). These state powers of
compulsion and the legitimate use of force have only been held in check by a
long struggle for democratic rights and freedoms to prevent abuse and loss of
liberty - banks don't have powers of arrest, prosecution, they don't hold
records over your health and social welfare arrangements, your legal status
in a host of civil, criminal and administrative matters....

Thus it matters a great deal and the state having your details is nothing like
a bank having them. Moreover it will matter even more in the future - this is
because the ecological crisis, oil and gas depletion, the debt
crisis....these could easily bring in a period of political and social
upheaval in which politicians are likely to be tempted to resort more and
more to social control measures, repression and surveillance over an
increasingly distressed and discontented citizenry (or subjects of her

So it's true that the state having a data base about the carbon usage of
citizens doesn't in and of itself represent a loss of their civil liberties -
any more than my doctor keeping my medical records on the new NHS computer
system. However....its worth pointing out that when it came to installing the
new NHS computer system several years ago they first brought in consultants
to help co-ordinate the design process - and I wasn't encourage to learn that
a company called Kellogg Brown and Root got the contract. This is a
subsidiary of Halliburton - not long ago run by Dick Cheney and suppliers to
the US armed forces, beneficiaries of no bid contracts for the supposed
reconstruction of Iraq....which does nothing to build my confidence in the
future uses to which the NHS information system might be put...

...that's off on a tangent I know but it's to point out that if you argue that
it doesn't necessarily follow that there will be a loss of civil liberties,
it equally doesn't necessarily follow that there won't be either. The DTQs
idea contains that potential risk and there are already signs how it might be
used in that way - whereas I can't see how the Feasta proposal could be used
like that as no records would be needed of individual energy usage

Agreed too that the dtq scheme might be got to work technologically - but
there is more to it than that when it comes to working as a social and legal
institution. My mother is in a residential home. Until she had a health
crisis a couple of years ago my mother had never used an ATM machine or a
card in her life - like millions of other elderly people - nor could she be
persuaded to do so. Now in the residential home she doesn't either. So have
you worked out how it would work for these elderly people? What the
responsibilities and charging system will be in the residential home for the
carbon bugets and obligations of residents? And how this system is to be
checked to prevent unscrupulous home owners abusing their vulnerable elderly
tenants? Have you worked out how it will work for people who are in long term
hospital care? (yet another part of the health and social services that will
need to be set up to keep track of another part of the life of in patients).
I work with people with mental health problems and some with learning
difficulties - and I am wondering what procedure there will need to be, for
example, for social workers working in projects with people with a learning
difficulty - with clients who find if difficult enough to work with one set
of money and prices - let alone two systems running in parallel. Have you
drafted the new social security regulations and guidance notes for social
workers or carers on managing the carbon budgets ofon behalf of vulnerable
people - to prevent abuse, for example, to prevent them being ripped off. Of
course the feasta system would also involve some thinking about - but far
less than the dtqs....

This is also a dimension of the complexity problem - which would not be there
in a scheme that, having choked back the supply at the point of entry of
fossil fuels - would operate through prices and money quantities downstream.

Finally, while I am writing.... I just re-read David Fleming's comments on the
Feasta scheme and noticed this comment about Feasta's proposal:

" The scheme is specified as a means of furthering an agenda which is
nothing to do with the energy issue itself. It is about redistributing
wealth away from business, and especially large energy companies, and
towards individuals. This may or may not be a good thing to do, but if it
is done it should be done using instruments which are specifically designed
to do it - by a revised tax regime, for instance. To use a scheme for
essential rationing as a vehicle for playing out debatable liberal idealism
in this way is improper: it is fatally flawed in practice and it is
indefensible in ethics."

Being challenged about our ethics and being accused of acting improperly is a
touch upsetting but on the matter of substance what is being said here simply
isn't true. Where in our literature about the EU ETS do we "specify"
redistributing wealth away from business towards individuals? I can find
references to protecting low income consumers but I can't find any references
to redistributing wealth away from business. The two are not the same. Emer
has put her finger on it when she says that this is about pre-distributing
the earth's natural resources (the atmosphere as a dump for GHGs) to the
people. But pre-distributing is not re-distributing. The earth's atmosphere
has not hitherto been regarded as a scarce resource and so it hasn't been
traded and it hasn't been owned by anyone. Now as this particular global
commons is being regarded as a scarce resource anis being traded it is
logical to regard us all as having a per capita right to it. There's no
redistributing going on here as the resource in question (the atmosphere as a
dump) hasn't hitherto been owned by anyone.

(In regard to the ethics of the matter, I wonder if DF noticed that in the
Feasta briefing we quoted a paper from the Wuppertal Institute, by Herman Ott
and Wolfgang Sachs. As it happens it is titled "Ethical Aspects of Emissions
Trading" This is what Ott and Sachs write on the ethical issues:

"Who should own the revenue generated from the trade in permits? The answer is
usually governments , since it is governments that create permits through
joint action in the first place, and it is governments that receive payments
for permits sold. But from a commons point of view, it is undoubtedly
humanity that holds the biosphere in trust: all citizens equally share in the
trusteeship of a commonly-inherited patrimony. It follows from this line of
thought that the revenue gained from issuing user rights belongs to all
citizens; neither corporations nor governments are, as a matter of course,
entitled to appropriate the sky rent." )

An important point here, missing in much of the debate so far, is that however
we go about it cutting back GHG usage is going to impose costs on people -
and there is an important question that is inavoidable of who bears the what
proportion of the costs? Who carries what proportion of the burden of
adjustment? DF seems to write as if "the energy issue itself" can be
addressed without there being distributional issues which I'm bound to say I
find a weakness in all of his writings. I've read his book 'The Lean
Economy' which asks the question of how does society face the challenges
ahead, restructure, reorganise and hold itself together in functioning
communities....and while it says plenty about ceremony, arts, religion, and
enjoying ourselves together, it says nothing about matters of social justice
and social equity which I see as key to the matter of holding together as a
society.....this is at the core of the distributional issues. The Feasta
proposal isn't about redistributing wealth away from business - that is a
caricature of our position - but the protection of those living in fuel
poverty from bearing the full brunt of the adjustment, is, quite rightly, a
key feature of our scheme. That's a key element of social sustainability and
the long run political acceptability of a scheme.

All for now



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Marion Wells <br...@dircon.co.uk,
cc "F. Richard Douthwaite" <ric...@douthwaite.net,
Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,...
date Tue, May 2, 2006 at 11:35 PM
subject Re: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading

hello again feastars,

i've been at the day job, so i have not had a chance to
really read and digest everything you've sent me.

however, in my lunch hour, and over din-dins this evening
(unlike some people i know, i can't think without eating),
i wrote the following page on carbon rationing :-


i have an amazing feeling of deja vu about it, as if i have
read it all before somewhere - it just kind of flowed out.
i bet i've plagiarised (good legal defence ?)

i've lived in belgium, and having an ID card is not such a big
deal unless you change country. but with carbon rationing
and the international rights of people to climate protection
by asylum in the north, we will be turning around all forms
of immigration control soon (the north americans haven't
got this yet - see "the day without immigrants" yesterday) ?

for me, the only reasons for opposing the current ID card
schemes in this country are (a) the cost of the implementation
and (b) the depth of detail they want. there's no real reason to
object to be id'd as long as only the right people know the info,
and that info is kept to a reasonable minimum (all personal
information is subject to change - which creates chaos).

i don't fear "big brother" and since i resist all forms of conspiracy
theory, i find stuff like the evangelical christian scare stories about
id-chipping and the one world government and the privations
heaped on the faithful in the book of revelations if they don't accept
the prevailing economy and its trade mark all a bit silly really.

sneep whorl,



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,
date Wed, May 3, 2006 at 12:01 AM
subject Re: Comments on feasta proposal for emissions trading

hello once more fea-star peoplings,

a BIG POINT OF NOTE from the discussions yesterday,
which chimes in with my distress at reading mariella frostrup
writing in the observer at the weekend when she carps on
about the british public pulling their weight :-


BASICALLY - telling people to knuckle down and do their bit
to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions is not working - and
there are concrete reasons why not. not everyone owns their own
home, nor is permitted to make changes to things like insulation
or equipment in their dwellings.

not everyone can afford to make changes to their homes in order to
make them more energy efficient. it's extremely bold to assert that
each citizen is responsible to change when many people are financially
or situationally locked into such things as travelling long distances for
work, buying food with high embodied Carbon Emissions and when
the things they can afford on their budgets are cheap imports.

as someone pointed out yesterday, 50% of the population own 7% of
the wealth. surely it should be the oil-rich who should be responsible
for making the big changes ?

and as COIN richard pointed out to me - even with all the energy
changes i can implement in my life i can only affect somewhere
in the region of 15% of all the Carbon Emissions that are made
because i am a citizen here.

local and national government Energy spending - on all the
infrastructure and power systems and housing and public buildings
has to be considered in all of this.

i don't know if the large Energy companies will accept us
tampering with their "upstream" trunk (mixed metaphor alley)
very easily.

on the other hand, large companies are seeing the economic
damages from Climate Change and would like to see firm Energy
policy so they can change their business in the survival direction.




from Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk
to Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,
cc Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com, Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,...
date Wed, May 3, 2006 at 3:05 PM
subject Second response to Brian - ID cards, civil liberties, usability, justice and more...

Dear all

Attached is my response to Brian's e-mail below. Attached, as in order
(hopefully!) to make my response clearer, I've formatted in Word.


Richard (Starkey)


from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk,
cc Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com, Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,...
date Wed, May 3, 2006 at 8:58 PM
subject Re: Second response to Richard S - ID cards, civil liberties, usability, justice and more...

Der Richard,

Thanks for your paper - yes, this is getting interesting. I'm glad that there
appear to be no current plans to link a dtq data base to an ID card scheme.

I still fear this as a possibility if ID cards become the indentity prover to
establish membership of a dtq scheme -

...frankly my guess is that for the sake of admin convenience, once we've been
obliged to have these cards then all sorts of official agencies will have
equipment where the cards are swiped and then, once one's identity is
established, each state agency would have access to your records in the
fields specific to them...in the paranoid scenario police and security
services would then have access to all of these specialist fields....

....but you are right, this is all speculation about what might happen....

However, the erosion of civil liberties in recent years as a result of the war
on terror has grown and grown. This is largely the indirect result of growing
tensions and cultural clashes occasioned by powerful oil and gas importing
countries trying to maintain their grip on oil and gas exporters - and the
growing polarised, paranoid and aggressive responses of states and
populations who are effected....The paranoia also extends to steps against
those, e.g. in the peace movement...who have opposed the war strategies. As a
result of this erosion there is an increasing surveillance (cctvs everywhere)
and some zoning regulations (e.g. no demonstrations near parliament withour
permission). This surveillance is growing too because of growing
crime...which is on the increased because of more and more drug trafficking
(which is also an indirect result of the same wars plus globalisation).

You write:

"the question is whether, given the large amount of information the state
already holds on us, a DTQs scheme would provide an tool for a repressive
government to use that would substantially increase its ability to repress?
Would DTQs make the difference between a state that wished to repress its
population having and not having the means to do so? Or would DTQs give a
state that wished to repress its population and had the means to do so,
substantially greater means to do so? To be honest, I can?t see it.

Let?s assume the ID card scheme was in place and so the state already had an
up-to-date and accurate record of where everyone lives (gulp). What info
would DTQs give the state that wasn?t already on the national identity
register? Nothing, other than, at most, the fact that Brian Davey buys
petrol once a fortnight at Bob?s garage in Tadcaster and buys his electricity
from npower. I honestly don?t see too much additional repression resulting
from that information. I would have thought that of much more interest to
the repressive state would be to lean on the banks and find out what Brian
Davey has squirreled away in has bank account(s)."

All I can say is that you don't seem to have read enough literature on how
totalitarian regimes operate. I've lived and worked in East Germany and
naturally spent a bit of time reading up how the Stasi operated. Hundreds of
thousands of unofficial spies, working under the state security, spent
millions of hours keeping records on the minute daily habits of their
neighbours, where they went every day, what they did, what foods they eat,
who they saw. From these trawls of information some unlucky people were
picked up on suspicions of doing things for which they were innocent or which
would not give us a second thought......The Stasi would have loved a system
which enabled them to tell where all Trabi owners bought their petrol. Also
as a general rule of thumb repressive regimes evolve towards obliging
individuals to stay where they live and exercising strict controls over
movement. Three weeks ago I was in a taxi driving into Berlin from the rural
suburbs and a friend and the taxi driver remembered the point on the road
where the road block was which you could not cross without permission. This
was just 17 years ago. This was an internal border within East Germany.......
As I live in Nottingham, the fact that I was filling up in Tadcaster, might
occasion great suspicion to a paranoid security service that I was up to
something....especially when you happen to know I don't even own a car. The
fact, perhaps, that an old flame lived in Tadcaster and it was her car that
was being filled up...well that would need some investigation before our
innocence was established......and as that innocence would take time and
resources to establish, and as I was very left wing 30 years ago...well...why
bother, just lock me up for now and deal with the facts later...better still
beat a confession out of me.....

Of course, that's all fictional and not the world we live in.... but it is the
world that most people in Eastern and Central Europe lived in very
recently...and it is the direction that the Department of Homeland Security
is taking the USA..... and let us not forget Northern Ireland in all of
this....the trend to increase surveillance is there on the mainland...as is
the trend to zoning for security reasons....give another 10 to 20 years
things might not be so nice.....as I said in my earlier e mail it does not
reassure that several military logistics and arms companies tendered for the
NHS contract to oversee the development of the NHS computer system...

Now, on your other point....I perhaps didn't make myself clear enough about
the social dimensions of how a dtq scheme would work. It wasn't so much the
matter of collecting and selling personal dtqs. As you say the same issue
would apply with the Feasta scheme. I was meaning the arrangements requiring
people and companies to surrender their dtqs when they purchase fuel. In the
establishments that I wrote about there would be quite new issues to sort
out. To give a more detailed example - the residential home in which my
mother lives uses energy - it must heat itself, have power for the kitchen
etc. Now tell me - who is required to surrender up the carbon units/dtqs for
these energy purchases? Well let's say that it is the company that runs the
residential home. But can't they argue, with justice, that the heat and the
kitchen are using energy for the residents? So shouldn't the residents be
surrending some of their carbon rations to pay for the heat and kitchen gas?
If so - how much? All the residents have different size rooms. Some of them
go out a lot to day centres so aren't using the heat in common areas. So it's
not obvious it should be equal shares if it's based on energy usage. My
mother was cold in a back room so got an extra heater put in her room -
should she be surrending more dtqs?

Or take a hospital stay. It's not uncommon for psychiatric patients to stay on
the ward for several months during a breakdown. The hospital is providing all
their energy needs. Should they surrender a part of their dtqs for this - and
again, if so, how many dtqs? In District General Hospitals there are all
sorts of patients and functions. You can't easily apportion the energy usage
to particular patients.

I suspect that all sorts of issues like this will arise in practice.....

Penultimate point, the big selling point of dtqs is having a personal carbon
budget that you can manage and keep track of.. if all the difficulties are
solved by selling them as soon as you receive them and going onto a spot
market to buy dtqs then that selling point disappears.

Final point. I originally wrote my response to Jo because she argued for what
she called, using a metaphor, a leaf and branch scheme. I suggested that if
the ghg input into the economy was controlled at the base of the trunk (to
continue to use the metaphor) there was no need to do it again at the
leaves....I still think that it would just be adding an unnecessary

Frankly I don't believe that you could have a policy to equalise welfare in
any measurable way as 'welfare' is too intangible as a concept. You can only
equalise measurable things.



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,
cc Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk, Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,...
date Thu, May 4, 2006 at 12:35 AM
subject Re: Second response to Richard S - ID cards, civil liberties, usability, justice and more...

hello FEASTA,

brian's keeping me awake at night !

burning the candle at both ends ? there's no candle left now !

anyway, in response to :-

> Final point. I originally wrote my response to Jo because she argued for what
> she called, using a metaphor, a leaf and branch scheme. I suggested that if
> the ghg input into the economy was controlled at the base of the trunk (to
> continue to use the metaphor) there was no need to do it again at the
> leaves....I still think that it would just be adding an unnecessary
> complication.

what i am trying to think through is how we tackle all the relevant
sectors in the carbon pie - carbon rationing alone for the end consumers
does not cover all the carbon emissions. carbon quotas or a pesky
carbon windfall taxation at the production upstream does not put a
cap on the total carbon envelope.

i think each sector in the carbon emissions pie should be treated
according to their behaviour and responsibility. when it comes to
climate change negotiations there should be "no representation
without taxation" (think about that for a few seconds).

anyway, my cortisol levels were so high i kept waking up last
night and decided that there are more than 2 or 4 sectors to be
dealt with, so i have written a page that starts to address the
idea of CARBON KARMA - appropriate punishment for your
carbon sin/deviation-from-holiness :-


i feel i am on the right track now to be able to present something
coherent for the UK EU ETS consultation :-


i know brian for one will feel i am adding in too much complexity,
but i honestly feel that "one-size-does-not-fit-all" when it comes to
carbon strategy - as all the different sectors behave in different ways.




from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Richard Starkey <Ric@mbs.ac.uk,
cc Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk, Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com, Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,...
date Fri, May 5, 2006 at 8:05 AM
subject As I've got 20 mins before going to work...

Further to my follow up of yesterday some additional points as I've got 20
mins before I go to work....Richard, I take your point that the whole trend
of modern information technology makes an invasion of privacy and the ability
of some possible future totalitarian state to exercise surveillance much
easier - and an information trawled from a dtqs data base would be only one
of many potential sources which might then be used. Ironically the taxi I
mentioned was using a navigational positioning system using a GPS satellite
put up in space by the US armed forces originally for their own purposes...

As this e mail discussion has evolved I think it's necessary to remind
ourselves that in your first e mail to me you conceded that:

"Of course, I accept that even if it was agreed that DTQs could be made to
work technologically and didn?t have to infringe civil liberties, it could
still be argued that the additional cost of setting up and running the scheme
would not bring sufficient additional benefits to justify it."

The disagreement subsequently has led to attention being directed elsewhere
and there has been no exploration of the consequences of this statement. Has
any cost benefit comparison been done on this one? For starters - what would
the cost be? One of my key original points to Jo Abbess was about added
complication - added complication means more things that need doing and
taking into account = added bureaucracy and information systems = added
financial costs and non financial costs....

This discussion started with me commenting on Jo's ideas and has evolved into
a discussion of dtqs. Since it is now a discussion about dtqs (or TEQs)
perhaps I should reiterate that my chief reservation about dtqs was never
particularly the ID card business - that became an issue for me when I read
Charles Clover article in the Telegraph (the power of a journalist!) but this
was never the key issue of concern for me. The chief issues were the upstream
or downstream issue - its administratively cheaper and more straightforward
to do it upstream - and the equity issue that I touched on last night.

In regard to the equity (fairness) issue I wrote a paper for Feasta in January
where I argued like this (cut and paste job):

"In this context David Fleming's ideas have been taken up and are being widely
publicised as a fair way of rationing carbon emissions. For example, a recent
major report by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, devotes
several pages to the idea and the per capita basis for individual allocation
is justified by the Tyndall Centre on the grounds of 'distributive justice'.
("Decarbonising the UK. Energy for a Climate Conscious Future" pp 55-58). In
another press statement on the web, Dr Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre,
based at UMIST, repeats the claim that DTQs are fair. "It is an equitable
system. It is not based solely on people's ability and willingness to pay,
but an explicit allocation of an equal per capita basis."

The Tyndall Centre's opinion that dtqs are fair has, in turn, been widely
repeated in the press - for example by the Daily Telegraph on 3rd July 2005,
which reported that government ministers were considering the possibility of
DTQs. The Telegraph article tells us that even the Queen would be covered by
the scheme and would have the same allocation as everyone else!

But how fair is the scheme in reality? Household energy use can be thought of
as both direct and indirect. Energy is used directly when fuels and
electricity are purchased by a household e.g. Petrol for the car, gas for the
central heating and and electricity for the lights and computer. Energy is
used indirectly through the purchase and consumption of non fuel goods whose
manufacture and delivery was only made possible by the earlier use of fossil
energy. There is a lot of fossil fuel used to produce and deliver food, for
example. Or again, it is not just the buying of petrol to power a car that
involves purchasing energy ? a lot of energy goes into manufacturing cars in
the first place ? probably as much as a fifth as it uses in its life time.
This energy is 'indirectly purchased' when payment is made of the final
retail price. It is important to remember this because otherwise we get only
a partial view of the equity and distributional implications of energy

It is, of course, very positive that the ability of poor people to pay has
been considered. But the matter of pre-distributive justice is here solely
discussed in regard to individual and household use of fuel and electricity.
But what about the price rises on their other purchases? What is missing in
the discussion are the equity implications of the other 55 or 60% of domestic
tradable quotas that would not be allocated on a per capita basis but which
would allocated by auction for the use of companies, organisations and
institutions. These are the quotas which would be required from companies to
cover their energy when they produce the non fuel consumption goods that
households purchase like food. The prices of these goods will rise too ? by
how much depending on the amount of energy that had gone into producing them.

As already explained, energy costs also enter into the cost of living
indirectly. It is just and appropriate that the Queen should have no more
than an equal ration in access to fuel ? centrally heating palaces must take
up a lot of energy so we can assume that Her Majesty would have to enter the
carbon market to buy up quotas from her more frugal subjects. But what about
the energy costs of having all those banquets? As food prices rise in
consequence of higher energy prices the Queen would continue to eat well but
we cannot make this assumption about her poorer subjects.

There is another sense too, in which, reserving 55 to 60% of dtqs for non
individual use is likely to turn out to be highly inequitable. The
distinction between individual use and use by companies, organisations and
institutions is not so clear cut as at first seems the case. It seems a fair
bet, for example, that the quotas required to cover fuel used in the ovens
cooking those state banquets would be provided by the government, and not be
taken from the Queen's personal dtq allowance.

One of the chief ways of evading taxes is to hide personal gain in the
institutions with which income earners are associated (e.g. company cars and
mileage). The consequence of this is that the tax system has to chase such
would-be evaders about their perks and treat them as income. With 55% of dtqs
bought by institutions, some of these carbon permits would probably be
purchased to covertly cushion the lifestyle of high income earners who would
justify their personal energy usage as a "necessary" part of their
"leadership role" in the institutions with which they are associated. For
example, mixing business with pleasure it will prove necessary to clinch
those important business deals, or hold those corporate strategy discussions,
at the very nicest resorts - so that the transport costs of getting there can
be charged to their companys' carbon accounts. This practice would not mean
that, at the national level, the overall carbon budget was overshot - but it
would mean that the burden sharing would be much more uneven - thus
undermining the credibility of the system as the poor struggled to cope with
big life style adjustments - while being left with the abiding feeling that
they had been cheated by all the talk about fairness."


from Richard Starkey <Ric@mbs.ac.uk
to Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,
cc Richard Starkey <Ric@mbs.ac.uk, Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk, Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com, Richard Douthwaite

date Fri, May 5, 2006 at 9:23 AM
subject 1 page response to Brian's latest two e-mails

Brian et al

Short response attached.


PS It would be helpful to know if there is anyone out there reading this stuff
other than me, Brian and Jo! And encouraging, if they are and finding the
discussion useful!


from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Richard Starkey <Ric@mbs.ac.uk,
cc Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk, o Abbess <jo...@gmail.com, Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,...
date Sat, May 6, 2006 at 9:43 AM
subject Re: 1 page response to Brian's latest two e-mails


I apologise that I didn't read your earlier paper - I've obviously not stayed
in top of this discussion fully and I guess this shows the perils of trying
to keep up with something as complex as this part time. (The sad truth is
that most people are not interested in this whole debate, and never will be,
because it involves such a huge amount of time and effort to get on top of it
- since most politicians are into ministerial office and out of it in around
a year in the UK I don't see how we can expect them to get on top of it

You did indeed discuss the 60% revenue raised by auctioning in the DTQ scheme
and the equity implications of this. I take your point too that governments
might recycle this revenue through the tax and benefit system - however, I
think Richard D covered this in the Feasta Briefing when he discusses whether
you could trust the government not to eventually withdraw such an

".... if we did agree to let the state handle permit sales, we would expect
that after a few years, it would fail to pass the money on. It seems silly
to send you this money and then to collect it back in tax is the sort of
thing the party in power would say. We ll save the expense of sending
permits out and cut taxes by the appropriate amount . And so our human right
would have gone and become a state right instead."

I'll add that in the Feasta briefing it was me that suggested the sentence:

"You don't own something unless you can dispose of it as you will. And you
can't dispose of something if the state sells it for you."

So the issue here is whether you could trust the government to pass on the
revenue - frankly I don't trust the UK government at all. Considering our
government broke international law on pursuing an energy agenda on the basis
of lies to take us into a war which has killed tens of thousands of people I
don't trust the UK government in the slightest bit. It is difficult for me
not to regard them as gangsters. Indeed this makes me feel very ambivalent in
getting involved in policy discussions at all - for example I find if very
difficult to write to my local MP about this (or any other issue) since,
after Iraq, I simply don't respect him. Nor would I trust the governments in
most other countries in the world (assuming one is advocating a system for
other countries too - so that a compatible/comparable set of systems emerges
between countries )- one usually finds that those very important persons who
run governments have a better idea of what is good for their countries that
protecting their most vulnerable citizens - which typically includes
siphoning off public revenues to Swiss Bank Accounts for their personal
use(as Richard D put it in the Feasta text) or, in the case of Turkmenistan,
into the accounts of the Dresdner bank in Frankurt....

I also now accept that the case that you made in relation to the complications
that I put forward apply equally well in relation to the Feasta Proposal as
DTQs. You are right on that and I should have thought that through more
thoroughly before cliicking on the 'send' button.

I've never heard of Arneson before you mentioned him. If he were indeed to ask
me 'equality of what?' then, in the context of this discussion, I would say
"equality in access to purchasing power" - where purchasing power(money that
you have the right or authority to spend in the pursuit of your purposes) is
what appears to be matter more than anything else to the people who run our



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
cc Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net, Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk,...
date Sun, May 21, 2006 at 6:31 PM
subject DEFRA EU ETS Phase II Consultation


I have had a crack at the EU ETS Phase II Consultation,
and I'm going to share it with you here. Amusez-vous bien.

The deadline is 17.00 23rd May 2006, so if you want to
have a go at it as well, and you haven't got the link, it's :-


Honestly, I haven't had enough time to do it justice, but
I have to travel now for the day job (which I haven't given up
yet), so I can't do any more.

I've been reading and re-reading the ARREST information
you sent me, and I still can't sign up. There's more than
one way to interpret the EU's reasons for all the decisions
that have been made so far about the ETS, some of which
I got from people when I was working in Brussels.

Energy price increases are part of the plan as far as I can
make out, as it implies Demand reduction. However, the
levelling out of the money systems after any step changes,
rather like water finding a common lowest point, means that
neither Demand nor Supply of Carbon-based Energy has so
far been seriously impacted.

What we are working with here are Protected Markets, and
they do not conform to standard competitive economic models.
The "Market Plan" is failing, and will continue to fail to provide
a clear cap on Carbon Dioxide Emissions, unless both Supply
and Demand are undermined. For me, this can be done by
reinforcing the EU ETS whilst at the same time implementing
Carbon Rationing on the Demand side - for individuals and

Smaller tubes means higher pressure (cost), but lower energy flows
and that's what we need.



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net,
cc Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net, Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk,...
date Thu, May 25, 2006 at 11:29 AM
subject Re: DEFRA EU ETS Phase II Consultation

hi richard,

i read and re-read the document you sent me "Emissions briefing final.pdf",
but i just could not accept all of it. however, when i read the declaration on
the ARREST website http://en.euemissions.com today, i realised i could
in all fairness sign the declaration, so i have.

the problems i have with the "Emissions briefing final.pdf" are around
these areas :-

(a) the confusion of money with value - for example the idea that all
EU citizens being presented with a carbon emissions voucher that
they can TRADE is not one i can wholeheartedly "buy into".

i accept that a CARBON RATION would be good, as it implies
people have to take RESPONSIBILITY for their personal budget.

(b) the conflation of "emissions rights" with "fair shares" - from my
perspective nobody actually has a right to pollute - so "fair shares"
cannot be applied.

as far as i understand it the principle of equity under contraction
and convergence is put forward as the only way to achieve a treaty
that will succeeed at the international level. it does not equate to
a "right" to pollute. (aubrey can tell me if i'm on the wrong track).

the ultimate goal must surely be to have a carbon neutral human
civilisation - without any question of net carbon emissions. and the
mechanism to achieve contraction must be couched in terms of
"reducing our carbon emissions" and not focus on "sharing out the
pollution rights".

i know there is psychology to think about - but an awful lot of
arguing has gone into "sharing" out "pollution rights" and really
that has to be stopped by saying : IF YOU WANT TO SAVE LIFE

if we want to encourage people to carry on thinking in the same way
they have been, we will tell them we are offering them a fair slice of
the pie (or cake) to appeal to their natural self-interest - but we surely
cannot continue with this line of argument forever. people have to be
taught that there are LIMITS.

cheers and keep up the good work,

+44 77 17 22 13 96


from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
date Fri, May 26, 2006 at 9:51 PM
subject Fair shares to a resource or a fair sharing of an adjustment burden

IN reply to Jo Abess...

Right at this moment there is a lot of controversy in the UK about rationing
water. What sticks in many people's throats is that the water companies are
making huge profits - while households have to make sacrifices. Many people
reason like this - the companies can make huge profits by not bothering to
maintain the water pipes so that when there is a drought a lot of the water
has leaked away and this has made what would have been a manageable situation
a lot worse. Water rationing is felt as unfair if it means a way of solving a
water supply problem that has come about by as water companies seek to make a
lot of profits - the result of privatisation. In short if people think that
burden sharing (water rationing) is unfair because companies are directly or
indirectly making money out of their inconvenience then it undermines the
acceptability of the policy - people are more likely to cheat and not play
ball and the policy will be deeply unpopular. This is a warning of things to
come in carbon policy. It is why 'fair shares' are important - at the moment
the energy companies are raking it in from the ETS - in the UK the power
generation sector has made an extra billion quid from the ETS while the
energy poor are unable to heat their homes because of rising prices. The
situation will get a lot worse and could undermine the European carbon
trading system in the long run. That is why the fair shares issue is
important and is the issue that feasta is trying to address with the 'fair
share' argument.

...however, granted that the terminology we use is important....perhaps it
would be better to have a terminology which describes fair shares in the
burden of adjustment rather than fairly sharing a resource that we want to
progressively do away with...I can understand why you object to wanting to
fairly share a resource that you want to do away with using altogether....

The use of words here has to be done very carefully. For example, you yourself
write: "No body has the right to pollute" - but just sending out your e mail
was using energy mostly derived from carbon fuel and entailing a greenhouse
gas emission. I'll bet you have used a lot of other energy today that
entailed a carbon emission. We all do it every day in developed countries. So
in law and in fact you clearly you do have a right to pollute....at this
point in time...the same as everyone else.

So I think you meant to say "No body *should have* the right to
pollute".......or maybe you meant to say...which is different again....."The
right to pollute should be gradually withdrawn until we reach a carbon
neutral civilisation"....or, alternatively perhaps you meant to say....."The
right of individuals to pollute should be limited and then reduced step by

Now Feasta's position is somewhat different again. It is effectively that...

"The collective right to pollute across the whole economy should be limited
and brought down step by step in a reducing process.....to ensure that the
burden of adjustment that this entails is fair to everyone the collective
right to pollute at each stage in this reducing process shall be parcelled
out on a per capita basis...if individuals then wish to lead a lifestyle
where they pollute more than the average at each stage they must effectively
buy that right from others who are polluting less than the average...(at each
stage in the reducing process)"

The mechanism for doing this is requiring primary energy suppliers to have
permits for all the greenhouse gas content of the fuels that they supply into
the economy. A cap on possible greenhouse gas emissions is then set by
establishing a collective limit on the number of permits. This number would
be reduced year on year. (This is the bit about reducing the collective right
to pollute).The permits are given on an equal per capita basis to the adult
population and the companies must effectively buy them from the population -
via companies who act as brokers. (This is the bit about parcelling the
rights out on a per capita basis to ensure that burden sharing is fair.)

You could always decide not to sell your permits if you wished.


from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com>
to Brian Davey <Bri...@cooptel.net>,
date Fri, May 26, 2006 at 10:08 PM
subject Re: Fair shares to a resource or a fair sharing of an adjustment burden

hi brian,

maybe i should be using the word "budget" instead of the word "ration".

when you say :-

"The collective right to pollute across the whole economy should be limited
and brought down step by step in a reducing process.....to ensure that the
burden of adjustment that this entails is fair to everyone the collective
right to pollute at each stage in this reducing process shall be parcelled
out on a per capita basis...if individuals then wish to lead a lifestyle
where they pollute more than the average at each stage they must effectively
buy that right from others who are polluting less than the average...(at
stage in the reducing process)"

that's way too complicated for most ordinary folks to take in.

maybe i should be using the phrase "carbon fence" as in "stay inside
your own personal carbon fence. it will close in from now on."

the thing is : people understand the concept of money, and having a
money account at a bank. it would be very logical as a next step to
get them to understand the concept of a carbon account at the bank.
the next step would be to get them to accept that they will only have
a limited carbon loan from their carbon account.

they will get their carbon loan from the bank every year, and it will
slowly be cut until the earth can cope with it.

is that simple enough language ?

whatever concept we use "carbon rationing", "carbon taxation",
"carbon budget", "carbon loan", the notion of cutting back and
austerity must be built it.

the language "fair shares" sounds like there's a pile of goodies
and cakes to be distributed to everyone. not so. this is pollution
we are talking about.

i do my best to cut down. i have a green electricity account.
i only use the washing machine once a week. i've used very
little gas in the house since my friend moved out. i don't use
an iron or a hairdryer and i avoid using a vacuum cleaner. etc
etc etc i have never owned a car, and i no longer fly (since i
learned the true facts). i'm nearly a vegan. i resist buying
things new. i bike. i walk. i take the buses and trains. i refuse
to shop in most supermarkets and chain stores. i recycle.
i re-use (i don't have time to repair much tho). and i'm still
heaps and heaps of fun, despite all of this.

i don't consider myself subject to privation. i'm not deprived.
i'm just managing the resources i have available in the lowest
energy way i can. it's prudence. it's conservation. it's a
different attitude.

i don't need a permit to manage my energy, but i need to
have an understanding of the budget available to me. in my
borough, the average eco-hit is 5.29 gha/cap (global
hectares per capita), and the sustainable level is 1.8. that
means that in order to show how the future will be, with or
without pollution permits, i have to do much better than
half of the local consumption (of the things i can control).



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com>
to Brian Davey <Bri...@cooptel.net>,
cc ric...@douthwaite.net, r...@manchester.ac.uk, ...
date Sun, May 28, 2006 at 5:29 PM
subject Re: Fair shares to a resource or a fair sharing of an adjustment burden

hi brian,

when you say this :-
> Many people reason like this - the companies can make huge profits by
> not bothering to maintain the water pipes...
the point here for me is that it does not matter who has ultimate responsibility
for repairing the water mains and infrastructure - whether or not this
lies in the
public domain or the private domain makes no difference to the problem. why
do i assert this ? because the system of infrastructure of water pipes and
reservoirs and drains and so on is suffering from the general law of entropy.
when they were first installed it was cheap and easy to maintain and repair
them. but now it is expensive to maintain and repair them - because the
damages increase with age and because of the complexity of the built
environment that has been developed around them. all public works suffer
from the law of entropy - that order must decrease and failure increase. what
seemed like a sensible thing - outsource public services from the public purse
in order to ringfence a healthy social budget under control of the
government - as
you term it "privatisation" - has worked pretty much as intended. private
companies have taken over the operation of public services - perhaps more
efficiently than they would have been managed in the public domain (?). but no
one has sorted out the issue of who will pay to reinvigorate the infrastructure.

when you say :-
> What sticks in many people's throats is that the water companies are
> making huge profits - while households have to make sacrifices.
i agree with you that it does seem badly weighted in favour of those who are
in control of the capital/assets, but the point for me is that climate
change will
always have had this impact - drought - regardless of who was in charge of
the water companies. large public or private spend on repair and renovation
of the water infrastructure will still not solve the problem of drought - since
this is being caused by climate change.

when you say :-
> the companies can make huge profits by not bothering to maintain the
> water pipes so that when there is a drought a lot of the water has leaked
> away and this has made what would have been a manageable situation
> a lot worse.
i think that because of the entropy in the water infrastructure system, these
problems would have deteriorated anyway, and it has little to do with how
much money the water companies decide to throw at maintenance and repair.
i think that the manageability of an ailing system always becomes prohibitively
expensive with time. the fact is that the water companies, as private
are bound to make a profit for their shareholders, and so they have been bound
to avoid spending money to prop up an ailing water infrastructure. it's not a
question of "not bothering", because i'm sure they do bother - it's just that
they can't make the books balance (and pay their directors fat sums) if they
invest in repair and maintenance of a system that they inherited already ageing.

when you say :-
> In short if people think that burden sharing (water rationing) is unfair because
> companies are directly or indirectly making money out of their inconvenience
> then it undermines the acceptability of the policy - people are more likely to
> cheat and not play ball and the policy will be deeply unpopular.
i think that we should conserve water regardless of the state of repair of the
water infrastructure, and i do not place a "fairness" value on that activity. we
have collectively drained the aquifers, rivers and reservoirs, so collectively
we should reduce our consumption.

when you say :-
> Water rationing is felt as unfair if it means a way of solving a water supply
> problem that has come about by as water companies seek to make a
> lot of profits - the result of privatisation.
i think that you really have to accept that private companies exist in order
to create wealth for their shareholders, and they will take all steps to achieve
that, because they are accountable to their shareholders first, not their
customers. the whole system of capital, capitalism, and the "creation" of
wealth by usury and privilege (capital threshhold entry to markets) is not
going to adjust because you or i feel aggrieved, or because some public
dialogue tries to contrast customer with service provider as if they
were working
in the same universe with the same rules. this is not an issue of "fairness".
"fair shares" cannot be applied here. there is only one slice of the cake, and
that cake and that slice belong to those who own the water services. this
ownership has been handed to private companies because public government
felt they did not want the overhead of managing it. for me, the facts are that
public serivces cannot be run at a profit, as witnessed by the chronic lack of
investment in basic infrastructure by the privatised energy, water and transport
industries. there are two separate issues here : the "water supply problem" is
a result of climate change principally, but the "water infrastructure problem"
can only be resolved by cancelling the privatisation of the water companies.
that is going to be practically impossible, as the water companies are now
transnationally owned. however, we can still enact laws to enforce water
infrastructure repairs, on the logic that climate change has exacerbated the
water supply and reservoir problem to a level that cannot be managed by the
current regimes of the private companies. the companies will step back from
paying for water infrastructure repairs, because they cannot afford it
as it would
reduce their profit margins, and then we can take back control of the management
of water from those who have been extracting value without inserting
value. i'm with
the latino pink tide : viva la revolucion !




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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:50 am    Post subject: TEQs & Cap & Share Reply with quote



from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
cc Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net, Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net, Richard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk,...
date Sun, May 28, 2006 at 9:48 PM
subject State intervention or the lifestyle choices of individuals

Hello Jo,

I've read and re-read your last e mail to me to try to ensure that I
understand where you are coming from. You ask if your language is simple
enough - yes, it is simple enough as a description of a system I do not fully
agree with.

In your e mail to me you write: "*I* don't need a permit to manage *my*

If I have understood you correctly, you appear to think, by extension, that
the way a society can better manage its carbon energy is essentially the same
as the way you as an individual seek to manage and reduce your energy use -
as it were, multiplied by however many individuals that there are. This
appears to be your starting out assumption about how the problem of coping
with climate change should be approached.

You describe your own personal lifestyle and how you are 'doing your best to
cut down' on the use of carbon based energy. You describe your struggle to
cut your carbon use as a matter of personal attitude. You say that 'you don't
need a permit' to manage your energy but you do need understanding of the
personal carbon budget available to you in order to do better at reducing
your carbon usage. By extension other individuals will need personal carbon
budgets for the same purpose of individual change.

Jo, this is posing the problem and solution of the climate change crisis as an
issue to be solved by billions of individuals. You have got an attitude to
the climate change crisis - it is something that you are personally trying to
do something about in your own life and you want to see the other 6 billion
people on the planet do something about the situation by developing a similar
attitude and then changing their individual lifestyles. For that to happen
you see it as necessary that each of these other individuals is given an
individual carbon budget which they have to live within - a budget that is
reduced to a realistic level.

This is a very particular way of seeing how to deal with the climate change
crisis. Have I described your viewpoint accurately and fairly so far? If I
have understood you clearly I'm afraid that I do not agree that this is the
only, or the best way, of dealing with these issues.

Before explaining why I think other approaches are possible, I would, however,
first like to ask for further clarification of your point of view. It is not
clear to me whether your 'personal carbon budget' would be something which,
if individuals ran out of, say 11 months through the year, they would be able
to buy more carbon credits from people who had used less than their year's
budget. And the other way round - if people under-use their carbon budget
during the budget period can they sell the remainder of unused credits to
those who over uses theirs?

That's my first question about your scheme....

My second question arises because I am unsure how to interpret your remark "I
don't need a permit to manage my energy". This phrase seems to suggest that
you do not see the carbon units in the personal budgets as being the same as
*permits* to emit CO2. If they are not permits what are they then? Would your
scheme be mandatory or merely indicative? For example, if people did not have
any credits left in their personal carbon budgets would they be permitted to
buy/use any more carbon energy? If the credits in your carbon budget scheme
are not actually "permits" to use carbon based energy then what are they?
Would these units merely be there as an indicative guide to individuals
when/if they had overshot to show them that they were failing in a moral
duty, but not actually a legal one?

Now let me turn to your general approach. As I have said it appears to be
based on the assumption that climate change is solved by many individuals
struggling in the same way that you do personally, to reduce their carbon
footprint, and this comes down to a question of attitude.

Please note I am not knocking your individual actions - far from it. I am only
saying that in my view the climate change crisis will not be solved by
billions of individuals having an attitude change and making individual
lifestyle changes through ethical choices. This is because if billions of
people do do this then it is equally likely that billions of others will not
- they will deny there is a problem at all, they will say the science is
unclear, they will say that even if there is a problem then God has willed it
and if the apocalypse is coming then this is what is prophesied, they will
not be interested enough to notice the problem because they never listen to
anything else that the sports news and big brother, they will live in
countries with dictatorships who censor the news, they will think that other
people should make the changes but not them, they will think there is a
problem but not a serious one, they will simply not give a damn, they will
think that if some people want to economise on energy that's great as it
leaves more energy for them......mostly, there will be billions who never
have the time to pay any attention to the issue at all.....

So that's one problem....and then others will think...well, if these others
are not going to take action to limt their energy use then it doesn't make
sense for me to either. These people will say - if the government takes
action I will support it - but unless everyone is forced to take action I am
not going to take action as an individual....

This is a problem in how you manage a commons. A commons (in this case the
earth's atmosphere) is owned by everyone but by no one in particular. Such
resources tend to get abused and over used. That's why collective decisions
have to be enforced by governments - who hopefully work together and agree
with each other by signing up to treaties and joint enforcement arrangements.

When states and governments act things are not the same as when individuals
act. Let me use an example - the state does not finance all its activities
because millions of individuals make personal or ethical choices to pay their
taxes to ensure that there are public services. By and large individuals
cannot avoid paying their taxes or national insurance. My taxes are paid
through a PAYE system and are deducted before I ever see them. The point I am
making with the tax example is that it is perfectly possible for things to be
achieved without individuals having to take personal decisions to behave in a
certain way. Administrative systems can be set up by the state which effect
us all and leave no choice for us in important matters. This is what I mean
by collective decisions being taken and then enforced.

Likewise states can enforce limits on the amount of greenhouse gases being
emitted in an economy - without individuals having to take any personal moral
decisions to change their ways at all. The actions of states would of course
subsequently effect all individuals. Instead of people like yourself making a
personal and individual moral choice to cut back your carbon energy
consumption, while others decide not to follow your example, the state could
limit the amount of carbon based fuel entering the economy by a permits
system and regulation. Everyone would experience this as rising prices which
meant that they simply could not afford to use as much carbon based energy as
before. Individual lifestyle changes (with less carbon fuels) would then be
*enforced* on individuals through price rises - not through moral persuasion.

Now you say that the system that I described in my last e mail was far too
complicated for most people to understand. I don't agree. I've explained the
feasta idea to lots of people now who have grasped it and found no problem
doing so. Maybe I didn't explain it well enough in my last e mail to you.

I really can't understand why the following 4 ideas should be difficult to

(1) Only allow coal suppliers, oil supplier or natural gas suppliers to sell
their product if they have a permit for the greenhouse gas content of the
fuel that they want to sell.

Please note this frames the issue in a completely different way from seeking
to influence the lifestyle choices of individuals. It is regulating the
behaviour of a particular class of companies - those which are primary energy
suppliers and importers. Before you, as an individual, take decisions about
your personal use of the tiny amount of the final energy supply that you
purchase, a very small number of companies have imported or produced fossil
fuels and sold them into the economy. If these companies supply less fossil
fuel into the economy everyone will end up using less as there is less to be
had - no moral persuasion or attitude change needed....How do you control the
supply of these companies? - you require them to have permits before they can
supply anything.

So how would this work? If you know that burning 1kg of a particular class of
coal will lead to 2.9 kg of CO2 emissions then it would mean, that if a coal
mine owner wanted to sell 1 kg of coal they would need a permit to cover the
corresponding 2.9kg of CO2. Or, for every 1kWh of natural gas burned there is
0.2kg of CO2 greenhouse gas equivalent - so for every 5KWh of natural gas
that comes out of the North Sea the gas company that is selling it into the
economy would have to have a permit for 1 kg of CO2....

To repeat - if you regulate the problem at this point it doesn't require moral
persuasion, it leaves billions of individuals with no choice but to put up
with less energy being available from the suppliers. The individuals would
experience this scarcity through rising prices. What you seek to achieve by
an attitude change, they would *have no choice but to cope with* because they
literally would not be able to afford as much energy with their purchasing
power as before. (Because energy would be scarcer and there would be less to
be had).

I've find lots of people able to understand that perfectly easily.

(2) Limit the number of permits covering the greenhouse gas content of the
fuel so that it is at a safe level.

This is the mechanism that would enforce the reduction before individuals make
their choices. The number of CO2 units permitted in the economy would be
limited and by 2050 would be 80% less than at the moment. So for the European
economy we might start by limiting it to 8,000 million tonnes now and
bringing it down to 1,000 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050.

Is that difficult to understand? I don't understand why it should be. Please
note that at this stage, as far as protecting against climate change is
concerned, the job has been done - because the amount of greenhouse gases
that the economy will emit have been brought under control and are being
reduced....(we can argue about the figures. A greater reduction may be

Idea 3. Don't give the permits to the companies but distribute them among the
population equally. That means giving people a certificate equal so many
tonnes this year and reducing it every year from now on.

This seems pretty straightforward to me - it simply means dividing the 8,000
million tonnes in the EU 25 by the adult population of the EU 25 - and
bringing it down year on year. Please note the permits are not meant to
regulate personal energy use directly. Individuals would not need permits to
buy energy - they can buy energy without permits. Companies would need
permits to sell primary energy. That's not the same thing. (When I read your
e mails I wonder if you have grasped this idea). Since the companies need
permits to sell energy they must buy the permits from the people. They would
put the price of buying the permits on the price of the fuels that they sell
so that the price of fuel would rise. This rise in the price of fuels is how
people would experience the state imposed scarcity.

Idea 4. Make the companies that want to sell coal, oil or gas buy the permits
from the population who have been given the permits....so if a coal supplier
wants to sell 3 tonnes of coal that company will have to have permits for the
(roughly) 9 tonnes of CO2 and that means buying most of my (say) 10 tonnes of
permits from me. So I might get some money from this from the coal company
and the price of coal goes up - pushing up the price of electricity and other
coal goods that involve burning coal in their production. If I was especially
moral I could choose not to sell my ration and then there would be even less
carbon emitted.

As you say....people understand money, they understand prices. So why bother
to load them with the extra baggage of having to calculate in carbon units in
a personal carbon account? In any case, as the carbon price rises, money
prices would come more and more to approximate carbon units values. As fossil
energy becomes more expensive (because the permit system would make these
products scarcer) products with more fossil fuel in them will go up in price
and people will know that some things are getting more and more expensive
because they are fossil fuel intensive. This will become only too evident and
they won't need a ' carbon fence' or a 'carbon budget' to regulate their
behaviour - the rising price of carbon intensive goods will do that job.
There will be less carbon based fuels in the economy so they will have to
cope with less carbon based fuels - as individuals they will experience this
as coping with the rising price of fuels. It is rising prices that will make
it more advantageous to do all the things you describe yourself as (not)
doing - not flying, only use the washing machine once a week, not using an
iron or a hairdryer etc. etc etc. The difference is that what you as a
minority person do now as a moral choice, millions of others will be obliged
to do in the future as an economic choice, simply because they cannot afford
to do so...as the price of fuels will have gone up cos the permit system has
choked back the supply

To sum up, in your e mail you put all your stress, if I have understood you
rightly, on convincing others that they can have a reasonable lifestyle
without much carbon - it's an approach based on calling for a particular life
style. Well, good luck to you - but I think the government can and should
enforce a life style change - and it can do this by, so to speak, tightening
the tap to prevent greenhouse gases entering the economy at the primary
energy stage. As this will choke off the supply of fossil fuels this will
put up all fossil energy prices. What you seek to do through moral persuasion
can instead be enforced on the population by regulation and the burden
distributed through the price system......as you say, people understand how
money (and prices) work...


from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net,
cc Richard Douthwaite <ric...@douthwaite.net, ichard Starkey <r...@manchester.ac.uk,...
date Sun, May 28, 2006 at 11:26 PM
subject Re: State intervention or the lifestyle choices of individuals

hi bri,

in reply to your e-mail, i want to disagree with you right from
the subject line. and that's all i'm going to tackle just now.

when you say :-

State intervention or the lifestyle choices of individuals

i say it's not a polar choice - in other words - it's not "OR"
as in "either we have this OR we have that". i don't think
i have ever intimated that i am at one extreme or the other
on the spectrum of complexity of social organisation, in
my preference for, or belief in, the effectiveness of change.

sorry, that last sentence was too complex. what i mean
is, i think that there must be top-down regulation change,
and there must be bottom-up behavioural change, and there
must be change at each level (and in each sector) of
organisation in between.

i also think that even small changes at any level can have
a major impact on the other levels. i advocate making changes
in peoples' own lives, even apparently minor ones, in order
that they may have an impact within their sphere of influence.
if i have a changed attitude, then my simple changes of
behaviour (that are an outcome of my change of attitude)
can have the impact that i call "witness". in old-fashioned
christian circles this is also known as "testimony".

i was speaking to a fellow known as ian watson today, and
he was suggesting, quite reasonably and rationally that what
we really need are regressive taxes for energy and fuel use.
up to a certain level of consumption we should be paying
reasonably prices, but above certain threshholds we should
be paying the square or the cube of the price. i said that this
sounded like a really clever idea, and would not embarrass
the impoverished of means, but my question was "how are
you going to get such a system implemented ?"

in other words, despite having all the great ideas about policy
in the world, unless you can convince the regulators that the
ideas are (a) doable and (b) votable and (c) meaningful, then
you have the chocolate teapot in hell's chance of getting
those ideas implemented (mixed metaphor alley).

how is it that we convince our patriarchs that rules should
be set/made/tightened ? if i go as one individual person and
i talk to individual persons who have important roles, what
chance do i have of reasoning with them in an effective way ?
they must talk to green nutcases every day...

no, the way i make waves is by collective action. each person
in my collective makes changes, and talks changes, and
recommends changes. i am creating a mandate for change.

and of course, at the level of the socialisation of the people
with the responsibility for making changes - they are not
stupid. they've read all the reports. they know the score.
they ask their psychological profilers how they are going
to get these changes accepted by the public. and then
they encounter wave upon wave of collectives, just like mine.

that's how it's supposed to work anyway. in practice, a
quiet, careful word in some appropriate ears can make
changes happen faster. or at least it gets words and forms
of words spoken faster. the rules may follow on later.

and then, there's europe. the beast with the zillion heads
with the exact answers to every policy problem. except
that carbon trading has never worked. but anyway. things
are moving.

what i want is regulatory change. from the top. every top.
first i'm starting with my own personal top - my own energy

the question is : how can i ask for a carbon budget to be
set at the top levels of government, and written into law and
policy and everything, and enforced and managed ? how on
earth can i get the regulatory powers to sign up to it ? i
can't just preach at them and expect them to listen. i can't
even get my local authority to listen to what i personally
believe, if i speak on my own, and on my own quirky authority.

i was at a climate change meeting with laurie michaelis today,
and he quite rightly took the moral high ground : as a project,
the living witness project of quaker green action has shown,
conclusively, that people, in community, can make the
right kind of changes to control their carbon emissions.

and now the shockwave starts to emanate.

voluntary behavioural change will only ever be a small sub-section
of the general community. but the moral case for making government
level regulatory changes has to be made by communities of volunteers.

what weight of communities do we need to get sea-change ?
i haven't the foggiest. but people i work with take on different
levels of government with groups from differing social concerns.
strive on every level, from every angle.

for those who are still energy addicts, may i propose a 12 step
programme (well, it's not quite 12, but it shall suffice) :-

Accept that Climate Change is real.
Believe that You can play your part.
Challenge everything Carbon.
Decide where you can make a difference.
Engage with your sphere of influence.
Follow through your decisions.
Get results !
Hope for the future.
I am the Change.


from Brian Davey <Bri...@cooptel.net>
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com>,
date Sun, May 28, 2006 at 11:44 PM
subject Re: Fair shares to a resource or a fair sharing of an adjustment burden


I was trying to make a point about public perceptions when it comes to sharing
out burdens. My point was that people are more likely to accept and live with
what they feel to be sacrifices if they feel that the sacrifices have been
shared fairly - and that one group does not end up as a special beneficiary
of the collective sacrifice?

Do you agree with that proposition - that fairness in sharing collective
burdens is an essential component of climate policy?



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com>
to Brian Davey <Bri...@cooptel.net>,
date Mon, May 29, 2006 at 12:04 AM
subject Re: Fair shares to a resource or a fair sharing of an adjustment burden

hi bri,

i hate the phrase "to be honest", but i'm going to use it now, because
i mean it.

TO BE HONEST, i think what you are saying is rather contrived.

using words like "burden" and "sacrifice" pigeonholes a set of
change into one negative feeling bucket.

when i decided that using a hairdryer was not necessary, and
that by not using a hairdryer i would use less electricity, i did
not see it as a sacrifice or a burden.

when you say :-
> Do you agree with that proposition - that fairness in sharing collective
> burdens is an essential component of climate policy?
i say, nothing much in life is fair. arguments about fairness have
to be carefully composed so that they don't fall into the trap of
being "playground arbitration", for example between two screaming
irrational kids.

i think that people can learn that they do not need to use so much
energy. and i think that it might take some new laws and regulations
to push them into learning that they do not need to use so much

if they choose to frame it as a "burden", this could be a determining
factor in whether our collective (society) manages to hold together
or break down into destructive chaos.

i think that the industrialised countries should face up to our collective
energy (carbon) guilt. historically, factually, we are the prime reasons
for climate change, and we should be brave enough to accept that.

i am a contraction and convergence woman : each person should
in the future have the same carbon ration/permit/allowance/allocation.

how we get there could be an unequal process : since the west
(north) have so much energy addiction to recover from.

the industrialised countries have to make major, rapid changes in
our carbon dioxide emissions. disputes about "fairness" can wait
a few decades as far as i'm concerned. for me, the primary focus
has to be on cutting the carbon. carbon budgets. carbon rations.
voluntary if at all possible for many. rules for the unrepentant rest.

i am a campaign activist. some of my methods might seem
unfair. i try to undercut debate to get results faster. i try to make
things happen in ways that may seem cheeky and rude. i don't
offer idealised language about "fairness" or "fair shares for all".
i say : ration me. cut off my energy sources. it's not up for
discussion. take energy away from me. close power plants,
by financial chaos if necessary. there's no time for niceties.
western energy consumption is not "fair". it's UNFAIR.

cut the carbon,



from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
date Mon, May 29, 2006 at 12:14 AM
subject Re: State intervention or the lifestyle choices of individuals

Sorry Jo

It took me probably 4 hours to write my last e mail to you - written over two
days. You have replied with almost a hundred lines within two hours. And
that's just on my title.

This discussion is growing exponentially and I can't keep up with you. I
simply cannot devote enough time to this to cover all the points and, in any
case, I think if tried you would exhaust me.

I'm afraid we'll have to agree to differ. You may be right. I don't know.



from Mike Thomas <miket...@yahoo.co.uk
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
date Mon, May 29, 2006 at 9:31 AM
subject Re: State intervention or the lifestyle choices of individuals

Dear Jo,
In the UK the Climate Chaos series on the BBC is helping people to understand the full nature of the crises humanity is facing and

undoubtedly the quiz programme Test the Nation on BBC1 last night will have brought the issues to a very wide audience. Of course I know from

personal experience that 20 years ago children in primary schools were aware of 'global warming' but many people, including David Attenborough,

remained sceptical at that time. It is only the evidence of the melting glaciers that is creating a widespread acceptance that global warming is real.
It was 30 years ago that I began to understand that the major environmental and social problems around the world were related to economic growth

and the inequalities it created. That new awareness led me to join the movement Future in Our Hands which was started in 1974.
Organisations like FEASTA have helped create a situation of now 'pushing on an open door' - as far as creating a new awareness of the

environmental threat is concerned. I feel that FEASTA plays an important role in addressing the heart of the problem as I see it by putting forward

proposals that make clear links between addressing the ecological threats and the need for the fair distribution of wealth globally.

I would like to suggest that the case for change is now going to be increasingly promoted throught the popular media. All those involved at the heart

of FEASTA, including all those in your network, should perhaps be alive to this and proactively engage with the media to get across the debate now

taking place around 'Contraction and Convergence' . I have believed for many years that a hopeful future requires that the affluent accept the need to

adopt a simpler lifestyle that reflects environmental sustainability and a fairer distribution of wealth globally. I believe that this approach is consistent

with a more fulfilling quality of life. The very thought of the programme on ITV at the same time as the planet quiz 'Beckham's World Cup Party' just

made me cringe. I dont think that we need to assume that politicians are not open to the more radical approach in the ARREST campaign.

There is a limit to what any of us can do on an individual basis but maybe we can do more than we may realise in the local context. My MP (Labour)

has been complaining that the local council (Swindon BC - now run by the Tories) has not been taking his idea to make Swindon 'the exemplar'

sustainability town in the UK, very seriously. At a recent meeting I managed to get the Bishop of Swindon, the Leader of the Council (Conservative),

the architect for a new development and the developer represetatives to attend a meeting with the MP (providing he agrees) to discuss sustainable

housing development issues. This might give me an opportunity to raise the FEASTA proposals.

I feel that think tanks such as FEASTA should remain focused on WHAT IS NECESSARY rather than WHAT IS POSSIBLE. A whole range of

'stakeholders' must surely be focussed on the latter and coming up with all kinds of 'solutions' which come nowhere near dealing with the crises that is

now being faced by the whole of humanity - not just the poor and marginalised.

Mike Thomas


from Brian Davey <bri...@cooptel.net
to Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com,
date Mon, May 29, 2006 at 9:55 AM
subject Doing without your hairdryer

There are 7.5 million households in England whose fuel spending is not
adequate to achieve minimum health-based heating standards..... At average
winter temperatures, two thirds (66%) of people who get more than three
quarters (75%) of their income from state benefits fail to meet the minimum
health-based heating standard... There are between 30,000 and 50,000 extra
winter deaths in Britain each year - mainly from heart and respiratory
conditions made worse by cold living conditions.

That's unfair too - but hey, let's cut their energy consumption some more, it
will be good for the environment. When these people die early they won't use
any energy at all - well, if they're not cremated that is - after all
rhetoric about fairness is only about niceties and, as you argue, we have no
time for that. Better still let's have a good old depression and, as you say,
'financial chaos'. That will throw millions out of work - and therefore solve
the energy crisis.

Or will it? The last time there was 'financial chaos' and a great depression
there was such an intensity of social conflict that fascism took hold in
several countries and in the great war that followed there was the first use
of the atomic bomb.



from Jo Abbess <jo...@gmail.com
to Brian Davey <Bri...@cooptel.net,
date Mon, May 29, 2006 at 11:54 AM
subject Re: Doing without your hairdryer

hello brian,

i honestly thought you'd given up corresponding yesterday.

as i was running on electric, writing my monthly report on
climate and energy, i was operating at high speed. without
the aid of any chemical assistance, apart from fairly traded
tea and fairly traded sugar in the form of chocolate.

the nearly completed report is on :-

i must admit i was suffering from verbosity yesterday.

to answer your points (below) : i grew up in the era of
patronising "third world" development speak - and look
where that lead us : the non-green revolution. at the same
time there was the onslaught of "social provision" speak
and it's equally as patronising, i think, and it's time we
dropped it, especially the "fuel poverty" arguments.

a hangover of the "social provision" paradigm can be seen
in your thinking, when you write :-

There are 7.5 million households in England whose fuel spending is not
adequate to achieve minimum health-based heating standards.....

what we should be concentrating on is not how we can HEAT
peoples' homes, but how we can help them INSULATE their
own homes.

whatever you or i do, i believe that the facts are that within about
10 years the supermarkets are going to fall (crop loss, fuel scarcity);
within about 15 years, no ordinary people will fly in planes; within
about 25 years, none of us will be able to afford to heat our homes
with natural gas. and i think we ought to be prepared for that.
whether this comes by regulation, financial chaos or peak oil
does not matter, the era of cheap energy is over. social provision
will fall away because our tax money will not be able to pay for
the "energy benefits" that will be demanded.

when you say :-

That's unfair too - but hey, let's cut their energy consumption some more, it
will be good for the environment.

basically, we will all have to do with less energy to consume,
one way or another. i think it would be better if we could accept
it voluntarily instead of fighting it. because if we stay in denial we
are at great risk.

when you say :-

Better still let's have a good old depression and, as you say,
'financial chaos'. That will throw millions out of work - and therefore
solve the energy crisis.

brian, i believe this "financial chaos" is coming, and this will
not be something i personally arrange or call for : it is happening
already, or hadn't you noticed ? the american economy has been
teetering on the brink of massive collapse for some time, and i
can fairly confidently predict these three things within the next 5 to
10 years (a) the house value bubble will collapse in north
america, and then europe. (b) the enormous weight of household
loans will cave in and millions and millions of people will suffer
cash crisis (c) the knock-on effects of the energy gap and massive
increases in energy prices will be widescale unemployment with
no state, not even in europe, to back anyone up. i really think i
need to communicate the bigger picture to you.

the era of cheap energy is over : and this will have easily imagined
and predicted social ramifications. the poor we will always have
with us : no amount of social provision will be able to cope with
the energy crisis.

the issue is how to survive this without people pushing red nuclear


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Shaun Chamberlin

Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 119
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: TEQs & Cap & Share Reply with quote

Richard Douthwaite wrote:

Dear Jo;

...your form of carbon rationing ignored the energy embodied in every product.

This is why David Fleming's TEQs only cover 45% of the energy people use. Read what is said about TEQs in the Great Emissions Give-Away leaflet.

Hi Jo, thanks for posting all this. As Richard's point above was made some years ago I'm sure he is now aware that embodied energy is very much included in the TEQs scheme - each manufacturer must purchase TEQs units to cover their energy use, and this is passed on in the cash cost to consumers. This means that from the point-of-view of consumers it is a very simple scheme, and they simply encounter carbon-intensive products as being more expensive.

I was particularly interested to see this Great Emissions Give-Away leaflet, which can be found here: http://www.feasta.org/documents/energy/emissions2007.htm

I hadn't come across it before, but I copy the section on TEQs below (with my comments interspersed:

FEASTA wrote:

Another well-known British proposal divides emissions permits between the government and the people. This is Dr. David Fleming's Domestic Tradable Quotas, or DTQs, which he renamed TEQs (for Tradable Energy Quotas) in 2005 to make their purpose clearer. In this scheme, governments give whatever proportion of national greenhouse emissions is due to the public's direct purchases of fuel and electricity - about 40% in the UK - to their adult populations in the form of carbon units, each unit representing 1Kg of carbon dioxide. The recipients then spend their carbon units (which could be kept ina special carbon account and spent using a debit card) in addition to cash whenever they buy fossil fuel and electricity. If people have unused units, they can sell them, or if they run out they can buy more. The remainder of the emission permits would be auctioned by a government agency to all other purchasers of fossil energy and electricity. See www.teqs.net

Four points should be made about this proposal. First, the right to emit is not considered to be a human right. It is, instead, a national asset which a government agency either auctions to businesses or gives away to the people.

I'm not sure that I understand the substance of the above point. Individuals are given units free-of-charge, organisations can buy units, just like under Cap and Share.

FEASTA wrote:

Secondly, TEQs require every energy purchaser to pay over carbon units for every energy purchase. It is therefore very much a downstream system, with all that entails in terms of administrative costs. There would have to be 48,000,000 individual carbon accounts in the UK, one for each adult, in addition to several million business accounts.

This is true - TEQs would be more expensive to implement than Cap and Share for this reason. But we believe that C&S would not be able tostimulate the fundamental changes required in society for the same reason. Energy suppliers alone are not going to be able to implement the Lean Energy transformation needed (see pp. 23-24 of "Energy and the Common Puropse"), we need every citizen to see the need to change the way we live, work and play.

Part of the beauty of TEQs is that they provide the best of both worlds - they do encourage the entire population to 'own' the problem and respond to it accordingly, but without creating a complicated system for those individuals to grapple with. The calculations required by the rating system are indeed done upstream in order to simplify matters, so individuals are only faced with simply priced energy choices rated in terms of carbon intensity.

We need an effective scheme more than we need a cheap one.

FEASTA wrote:

Thirdly, many people are concerned about the civil liberties implications of having all their energy transactions on a central state register.

This is a strange point. I am a member of Liberty and have actively campaigned against ID cards. As Richard Starkey hgihlights, I really don't see the connection. Credit card companies know far more about our transactions than this scheme would entail. TEQs does not require Government monitoring of each energy transaction.

FEASTA wrote:

Fourthly, the fact that a state agency would auction the bulk of the permits to the business sector would inevitably increase consumer prices when businesses passed the cost on. The general public would not receive any payments to offset the higher prices but Fleming argues that the money collected by the agency would not be a tax as it would be spent by the agency immediately to enable businesses and the public to reduce their fossil fuel use as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The same critique can be applied to C&S as companies could just increase prices by more than the C&S rebate. And in actual fact, those who used less than their entitlement of energy under TEQs would receive cash by selling them.

FEASTA wrote:

Fleming thinks that many people would make it a matter of pride to live within their TEQ allowance rather than simply buying more units."People's minds will be focused directly on saving energy, rather than on the indirect question of how to allocate their household budgets" he says. "It can be expected that, faced with a sharply defined incentive to reduce fossil fuel consumption, consumers will devise ways of doing so as efficiently as they can." If this could be shown to be likely to happen and there were prospects that people might change their energy behaviour in ways that price changes alone could not achieve, a TEQ-type system in which all the carbon units went to individuals as a right would be worth considering despite its high administrative costs.
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Posts: 184
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 11:31 pm    Post subject: Ireland gets serious about Cap and Share Reply with quote

Ireland is getting serious about Cap and Share.

Here's the latest news from FEASTA :-



May 29th: Two important documents are being printed today. One is "Cap and Share - A fair way to cut greenhouse emissions", a 32 page Feasta booklet explaining how C&S could be used to halt climate change at a global level. You can read a summary and download the entire paper here. Hardcopies will be available next week for ?5, postpaid. Paid-up members will be posted a copy free if they email a request.



The other is a 106-page report commissioned by Comhar, the Irish national sustainable development council, from a British consultancy on the way Cap and Share could be used at a national level to control Ireland's greenhouse emissions. It is very favourable to C&S and shows that it is superior to a carbon tax. This report can be downloaded here (PDF document, 1.3 MB). Printed copies will be available next week for ?25 postpaid.


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