OK, so last night I didn’t have time to explain Connie Hedegaard’s cryptic reference to a means of paying for all the development required in the G77 to meet the ambitious goals of the COP15, which she let loose at the Civil Society Q and A.
She said that Civil Society should not be asked to foot the bill for this, especially during the current economic problems. This is interesting coming from a member of a conservative party!
Global Transportation Tax
She went on to say that something being discussed is a “Global Transportation Tax”, which would mean that flights and shipping would become a bit more expensive for consumers, but not excessively so. This would, she said, raise about $12 Billion annually, which is a significant way towards paying for some of the infrastructure improvements required in developing nations.
This sounds like an excellent idea to me as a Lib Dem, as the invisible externality (the delayed environmental cost) of the emissions of these industries (which are used by civil society and businesses alike) would be accounted for in the small price increase. This would allow businesses to find less carbon expensive ways of doing things; like teleconferencing instead of flying people around for business meetings, like electrifying data transfers to stop shipping paper around entirely, and so on. This is an example of the sort of push the markets need to get on with fixing the problems themselves, which is obviously more efficient, cheaper, and most importantly free-er.