National government action
Some governments are making a real commitment to reduce fossil fuel use. For example, the Swedish government is aimimg for a carbon-free economy by 2020. The political impetus for this has come from concerns about oil depletion as well as climate change.
Other government should follow suit.
• Road building should be halted - France has made a decision to build no more autoroutes (www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-959155,36-970505@51-946550,0.html) - other governments should follow suit.
• Airport expansion should be reversed
• Tax should be applied to aircraft fuel, or alternatively, Air Passenger Duty should be increased and should apply to empty aircraft seats as well as occupied seats, in order to limit flights with lots of empty seats, or even flying empty altogether, just to keep the landing slot. Private jets should be taxed as well as commercial flights - and so should freight flights.
Much more consideration should be given to limiting population growth. Reducing consumption is bound to be very difficult. It is likely that affluent consumers will wish to stay so and that the poor will aspire to escape their poverty. Providing adequate contraception world-wide would be a relatively cheap strategy.
"There is no unmet need to reduce consumption. However, ... in Africa, there is considerable unmet need for family planning" (John Guillebaud, British Medical Journal: www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/335/7630/1104#182503).
See also the Optimum Population Trust (www.optimumpopulation.org).
|First published: 2008 |
Last updated: 03 Feb 2015