Letter: Carbon Trading

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The Independent Online
Sir: I agree with Professor Peter F Smith's carbon-based approach to car addiction (Letters, 26 November). An approach which gives me the same right to pollute you as for you to pollute me is the only fair way forward.

By issuing an equal number of pollution-credits to each man, woman and child, without which it was impossible to buy fuel, there would be more pressure to decide whether, for instance, to squander them on gas-guzzlers or economise with car-pooling.

Furthermore, if trading of those credits were allowed and if they were not issued directly to businesses, the latter would have to buy their credits on the open market and I could, for instance, choose to swap my credits for a bus or train pass and know that the road-space I was vacating would not simply be grabbed by another car-driver who could afford to pollute me more than I could him, or by a lorry whose owner was simply passing on road charges to his customers.

By wiping the slate clean at the year-end and issuing another year's worth of credits based on the previous year's actual national fuel consumption, individuals who decided not to use all their credits would know they were helping to achieve a real reduction of pollution.

TERRY HORSNELL

Cambridge

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