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.

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 ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDan Falchikov 31st Aug - 2:04am
    Five former target seats in there...
  • User AvatarLiberal Al 31st Aug - 1:38am
    I am NOT trying to say I think the West handled this situation well (worst Freudian slip ever, haha.)
  • User AvatarLiberal Al 31st Aug - 1:34am
    @Jedi, yes, the Telegraph, that most enlightened of newspapers on energy policy. @John, warmongering West? I think this shows John that basically you have allowed...
  • User AvatarSimon 31st Aug - 12:59am
    Community politics is NOT community activism. Please read the original pamphlet online.
  • User AvatarLiberal Al 31st Aug - 12:41am
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/10214326/One-to-watch-Why-political-campaigner-Daisy-Cooper-is-going-places.html An interesting article on this very articulate candidate. This really is a tough presidency campaign, but I like the focus of this positive article...
  • User AvatarATF 31st Aug - 12:37am
    @Geoffrey Payne I hope that it is isn't. Far better they spend their time out there talking to people rather than, as so often seems...