The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) today released ‘zerocarbonbritain', a blueprint for Britain to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2027. The report draws on CAT's 35 years of experience as well as consultations with world-renowned experts in climate science, climate policy and renewable energy technologies. Zerocarbonbritain outlines a framework of policies to drive the transition to a zero carbon economy. It defines a global carbon budget and identifies an equitable portion for Britain.
Paul Allen, CAT Development Director and co-author said, “What we are saying is that we need a huge programme, a bit like the US space project in the 60s. When that was launched it was known to be a huge target, but the driving force to make it work was there. We think that zerocarbonbritain can do that again - it can give us a positive future. It is a political challenge but we had the political willpower to abolish slavery even though lots of people said that would cost the economy too much."
Sir John Houghton, former Co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Director General of the UK Met Office said, “The authors of zerocarbonbritain present a time-scale for action that begins now. I commend their imagination (coupled with realism), their integrated view and their sense of urgency, as an inspiration to all who are grappling with the challenge that climate change is bringing to our world.”
Britain could cut carbon emissions to zero in 20 years but only if people accept a virtual end to air travel and stop using fuel-driven cars, a report said. Meat would also need to disappear off many menus and an "armada" of wind turbines built around the coast to achieve the goal, says the new research. Money would meanwhile be overtaken in importance by carbon credits traded by everyone using special smart cards. The radical vision was put forward by researchers and scientists from the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT).
People would be given their own carbon credits called Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs) and carry them on the environmental equivalent of the London transport Oyster card. Each year the free allocation would decrease as the country moves towards zero carbon, with the effect that the value of the quotas will go up. But every time consumers use fossil fuels, say by filling their cars up with petrol, they would lose these valuable credits, forcing them to choose low carbon alternatives. The resulting market would drive environmental change, providing the economic incentive to produce green products.