Q. How many Liberal Democrats does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. One. They stand perfectly still, hold the lightbulb in the socket and wait for the earth to revolve around them.*

So the world turns and yet another long-held Lib Dem policy edges its way further towards the mainstream…

Yesterday the cross-parliamentary Committee for Climate Change made a recommendation to the squeaky new Minister for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband that CO2 emissions be cut to 80% of 1990 levels by the middle of the century, rather than the 60% being proposed in the forthcoming Climate Change Bill.

The Liberal Democrat aim, as any fule kno, is to make Britain entirely carbon-free by 2050, with the Green Tax Switch laying the vital ground work. Our tabled amendment to the Climate Change Bill happens to also raise the target for CO2 emission cuts to 80%, but if Miliband is as willing to lap up the CCC report as the Guardian editorial seems to think, perhaps it won’t be needed.

But a target, as the editorial points out, is one thing, and taking the practical steps to achieve it is another. The notion that markets can drive CO2 reductions if the incentives are pointing the right way is not, to my mind, as busted as the editorial simplistically claims. Incentives do work as effectively in a recession as out of one (that’s why they’re called incentives) – they’re just likely to look different. It’s rather silly to suggest that a market in a downturn can’t achieve anything – it’s “achieving” plenty, isn’t it. You just need different incentives, and non-contradictory ones, created across the board of government operations. Like, er, ooh, I know, the Green Tax Switch!

As Steve Webb puts it:

It will be interesting to see if the new department takes over the remaining stages of the Climate Change Bill and accepts our amendment to toughen it up. Perhaps at long last energy efficiency will be taken seriously instead of being a cinderella.

All we need to do now is include transport, building standards, green taxation in the Department’s remit and we might be getting somewhere!

* Wouldn’t work for bayonets, of course. But it’s the principle of the thing.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/4743 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

4 Comments

  • Alix Mortimer 8th Oct '08 - 4:29pm

    Well, quite. A bayonet fitting would require the answer to be: “They stand perfectly still, hold the lightbulb in the socket and wait for the earth to revolve around them a bit, then cheat to the left slightly and do a little wiggle.”

    I’ve also realised that there are profound practical difficulties with my assertion that Britain should be a carbon-free place by 2050. Ho well.

  • How many Politicians should it take to change a light bulb?
    None.

    How many Citizens should be allowed to choose?
    Everyone.

    (from http://ceolas.net/
    against the ban on incandescent light bulbs, final words)

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarBill le Breton 19th Dec - 11:48am
    I have been a supporter of citizen's income for many years. I like the word citizens income rather than basic income because it links with...
  • User AvatarRC 19th Dec - 11:48am
    Who would be entitled to this basic income? Only UK citizens? We assert that people naturally want to work to improve their lot, but is...
  • User AvatarJoe Otten 19th Dec - 11:45am
    There seem to be three elements to this idea: 1. Unconditionality (i.e. no "actively seeking work" test) 2. Work always pays (i.e. Universal Credit) 3....
  • User AvatarAndrew Ducker 19th Dec - 11:42am
    This Guardian article looks at recent research: http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2014/dec/18/incomes-scheme-transforms-lives-poor And it finds that people work _more_ when Basic Income is brought in. And that they do...
  • User AvatarT-J 19th Dec - 11:16am
    I am in full agreement with this article. The dehumanising effects of our existing welfare system, the mounting cost of administrating it and the whole...
  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 19th Dec - 11:14am
    So just to be clear, people at work would pay higher taxes so those who could work but chose not can sit around watching TV...