The World Bank may be meeting in Singapore, but in the UK the political party season has begun. First up it’s the Liberal Democrats. The environment and climate change will feature heavily like never before with the Tories and Lib Dems both trying to attract the green vote.
Lib Dem leader, Sir Menzies Campbell made the environment the party’s biggest ever single-issue campaign yesterday as he outlined the party’s commitment to “green” taxation rather than income tax.
Under his new plans, environmental taxes would rise by £8bn a year to fund significant cuts in income tax for millions of families. Proposals include a sharp increase in the tax on aviation as well as sharp increases in car tax on the most polluting vehicles that would impose a £2,000 a year charge on new “SUVs” or “Chelsea tractors” and an eight-fold increase in car tax on some family saloons.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, British MPs have castigated the government for lacking ambition on bioenergy. The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Efracom) says the UK is lagging behind other countries, and is urging the government to go beyond its existing 5% target for biofuels in road transport, and promote bioenergy for heating homes and aviation.
“The government has got to show a much greater commitment, coherence and enthusiasm in the way it develops its bioenergy policies,” said Efracom chairman, Michael Jack MP. “For a nation that prides itself on its international leadership role on the climate change agenda, it’s not acceptable for Britain to lag behind so many other countries in the way that it is embracing bioenergy.”
However, it says that wide adoption of currently available biofuels could have serious consequences for land use with wildlife with diversity of plants and animals threatened.
So can green taxes change people’s behaviour. Are biofuels the answer or will they cause more problems than they solve? Let us know what you think..