Author Archives: Catherine Dawson

Would you consider supporting the civil society advisers’ ask on carbon pricing to the G7?

On the 8th June an Environmental Audit Committee session heard that “To meet 1.5C, we need to think about the impact of our production in the global context. 60 % of oil and gas reserves globally need to stay in the ground. For the UK, we need to see a 6-7% reduction in production annually.” Michael Lewis, Chairman of E.on, stated that insulating 19 million houses would save the equivalent energy output of 6 nuclear power stations, and tweeted that putting solar panels on new-build houses was a ‘no brainer’. What we don’t need is new oil and gas field developments – was COP26 that long ago?

There has been growing acknowledgement worldwide that there is a need for a globally applied carbon pricing policy which would show the true cost of fossil fuel reliance and which, by gradually pricing fossil fuels out of the mix, would facilitate the implementation of renewable energy and carbon sequestration. Calls for such a policy came from the IMF last year. A recent paper in Nature and report by the Autonomy think tank have shown how a carbon pricing policy such as Climate Income in which the revenue is returned equally to the populace as a dividend, if applied globally, would benefit the Global South.

The civil society advisers to the G7 are now adding to the call for comprehensive and just carbon pricing. Citizens’ Climate Lobby International has a useful summary of the various requests and a petition to ask the G7 to heed the call of its civil society advisers. Please consider adding your name and disseminating.

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Business forums at COP26 revealed what company bosses need from carbon pricing to facilitate decarbonisation – and it is not ETS!

The recent Sustainable Innovation Forum 2021 and Hydrogen Transition Summit revealed that business leaders want to decarbonise but are held back by the lack of price ambition and predictability of the Emissions Trading Systems (ETS) carbon pricing regime. They argued for an economy wide, strong, predictable, preferably global, carbon price to facilitate decarbonisation, ….”The best (thing) governments can do to promote hydrogen is a global carbon tax” Seifi Ghasemi Chairman, CEO and President of Air Products.

The management consulting company Roland Berger advocates a high carbon price to render decarbonisation cost effective, at a level only currently found in Sweden and Switzerland (alongside ETS, with Climate Income in Switzerland). Stefan Schaible, Global Managing Partner, Roland Berger, stated that COP26 had been as he expected, not the lowest or the highest step in the right direction. There was however, a step change in opinion on the environment, (the German government even includes Green Party members!) so there is continuing pressure to reduce emissions targets……“We need action. We cannot go on like this for certain sectors such as energy and transport. Only with carbon at $100 per tonne will profits shrink dramatically or even halve so they (the industry sectors) have to move”.

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Some thoughts on Motion F12: Tackling the Climate Emergency: Proposals for Carbon Pricing

Motion F12 states that Lib Dem carbon pricing policy should be to reform the UK Emissions Trading System (ETS), and seek to return to the EU ETS. Carbon pricing was last debated by the party in 2005 and a simple carbon tax applied upstream to ‘primary fuels’ was supported then. Since then there have been several successful real world applications of the revenue neutral carbon pricing policy known as Carbon Fee and Dividend or Climate Income. In this system a steadily and predictably escalating carbon fee is placed on fossil fuels ‘upstream’, (i.e. at the point of extraction or production rather than consumption). This sends a clear message to producers and consumers, enabling them to plan ahead with the certainty that decarbonisation will be worthwhile.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged | 6 Comments

We need more than diagnosis and training for neurotypicals to improve lives of autistic people

I was truly heartened by the recent Spring Conference debate on support for autistic people. Progress has been made on diagnosis and awareness since the Autism Act. I want to argue, however, that autistic people need tailored support to help them thrive in the real world, not just a speedy diagnosis and societal awareness – those don’t pay the bills.

My personal experience shows the need for action at a political level to ensure that tailored support is provided for those on the autistic spectrum.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 1 Comment
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