The UK could require fuel rationing to ensure fair and equal access to fuel in the face of future potential scarcities, warns a parliamentary report published today.
The report by the Lean Economy Connection commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil sets out a proposal for a fuel rationing system.
The system of electronic tradable energy quotas (TEQs) would distribute ‘energy credit’ units to all adults. Any surplus units could be bought and sold, with no upper limit for the number of units per person.
Businesses and organizations would bid for energy units at a weekly tender, generating revenue to support low-carbon technologies and energy generation.
The report warns that without a scheme such as TEQs, the UK is unlikely to achieve its Climate Change Act target of cutting emissions 80% by 2050 or be able to cope with future energy scarcities.
“It is essential that we prepare now to mitigate the energy shortages of the future,” says Shaun Chamberlin, director of the Lean Economy Connection and co-author of the report. “TEQs are the only way we can reduce carbon emissions and at the same time guarantee that everyone gets fair access to limited energy supplies. This is also an alternative to carbon taxation.”
However, the previous Labour government also looked into the feasibility of a TEQ-like scheme in 2008, judging it “ahead of its time”.
John Hemming MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, says that the proposals merit attention once again.
“What is needed is an intelligent response both to climate change and to fuel depletion. We therefore welcome the model set out in the Lean Economy Connection’s report, which addresses both sides of the problem,” he said at the report launch today.
For further information:
UK government rejects personal carbon trading (12-May 2008)
18 January 2011