Ten things that the government can do...

A A A


SET LEGALLY BINDING, ANNUAL CO2 REDUCTION TARGETS

Current atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and methane are higher now than at any time in the past 650,000 years, while sea levels may be rising twice as fast as in previous centuries. New laws committing governments to reducing CO2 every year by a fixed amount are essential.

COMMIT TO PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGNS

Governments fear discussing the impact of climate change for fear of upsetting the economy. But campaigns of the kind used in the UK to tackle health issues like smoking are needed to shock the public out of a naivety that ranks climate change as less important than terrorism, Third World debt and Aids.

TACKLE THE GAS GUZZLERS

Raise vehicle excise duty on fuel-heavy cars; make it more than £1,000 in the UK with further planned rises. Insist on a health warning on the side, similar to packets of cigarettes: "This Vehicle Damages The Environment, Your Health And Your Future."

OBLIGE OIL COMPANIES TO BLEND BIOFUELS INTO FORECOURT PETROL AND DIESEL

Biofuels, which are made from crops do not add to the emissions of CO2. They are "carbon neutral" because the CO2 they produce when burnt was absorbed from the atmosphere by the crops used to make them. Governments of industrialised nations should draw up biofuel obligations requiring oil companies to blend a fixed proportion of biofuels with all the fuel that they sell in garages.

SLASH THE GROWTH OF CHEAP FLIGHTS

Raise air passenger duty to end flights cheap on the pocket and pricey to the stratosphere (CO2 emissions from aircraft are rising faster than any other source). End the oopholes which allow most airlines to escape paying fuel duty.

SIGN UP DEVELOPING NATIONS TO ENVIRONMENTAL TARGETS

Rapidly expanding industrial economies such as China and India must be bound to meeting environmental targets, in the same way that the Kyoto protocol legally binds 141 countries to cutting pollutant greenhouse gases.

CONVINCE THE US TO TAKE CLIMATE CHANGE SERIOUSLY

The world leaders concerned about global warming need to bend the ear of America's leader - who in turn needs to placate the oil lobby. Without the United States, the fight against climate change lacks conviction or global reach.

DECENTRALISE ENERGY SUPPLY SYSTEMS

Legislate that new buildings in industrial nations should be CO2-free, with a power station in the basement. Features should include solar panel roofs, and mini-wind turbines to soap up wasted heat.Governments should have targets, audited by an independent body with sanctioning powers.

BOOST NEGLECTED RENEWABLE ENERGIES; SOLAR, WAVE AND TIDAL POWER

Properly fund and support renewable energies other than wind. These have vast potential to supply CO2-free electricity but are underdeveloped. Oblige electricity supply companies to provide an increasing amount of their power from renewable sources.

OFF-SHORE WIND

Renew the impetus behind off-shore wind farms through government development subsidies. Few coastal nations are making any progress. The UK made a good start but stalled after technical and financial difficulties.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee