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TEQs: Policy Framework for Peak Oil & Climate Change Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
The twin challenges of climate change and peak oil require us to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels at lightning speed.

This new report from the Lean Economy Connection, commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, sets out in detail the vital role that an economy-wide tradable rationing scheme could play in guaranteeing personal energy security and inspiring the active participation and cooperation of citizens as we meet that challenge.

Download the report here

Visit the TEQ website


New parliamentary report warns of coming energy scarcities and outlines a rationing system which could ensure fair access to energy and guarantee emissions reductions

18 January 2011, London: A report launched today by the Lean Economy Connection, commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, calls for a nationwide system for ensuring fair and equal access to fuel as energy scarcities develop. Dr Caroline Lucas MP; Dr Jeremy Leggett, chairman and founder of Solarcentury and SolarAid; and John Hemming MP spoke at the launch, held at Portcullis House, Westminster this morning.

The report, entitled Tradable Energy Quotas, sets out a detailed proposal for a scheme which would ensure fair and equal entitlements to fuel and energy under conditions of scarcity, while also guaranteeing that the government meets its commitment to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

The report proposes an electronic energy rationing system called TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas). Under TEQs, units of ‘energy credit’ are distributed free to all adults. Surplus units can be bought and sold, meaning that there is no upper limit set on the number of units owned by one person. Businesses and government bid for their energy units at a weekly tender, creating revenue to help fund the infrastructure and skills that the economy needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels.

Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party, said: “TEQs have long been Green Party policy, as we believe that we need a fair and transparent system to reduce energy demand and give each person a direct connection to the carbon emissions associated with their lifestyle. The TEQs scheme would guarantee that the UK’s targeted carbon reductions are actually achieved, while ensuring fair shares of available energy.”

Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury, said: “What I like about TEQs is the fairness of it. When the energy crunch hits us, government and industry must ensure equitable access to available energy within a national budget. TEQs is the kind of approach we will need if we are to mobilise the infrastructure of a zero-carbon future fast, under pressure. It would increase the chances of working our way through the grim times to renaissance-through-resilience."

The report warns that, without a scheme such as TEQs, the UK will not only fail to achieve the steep emissions reductions promised by the Climate Change Act, but will find itself unprepared for energy scarcities when they arise, and unable to sustain an orderly market. Fuel poverty would rapidly develop, leaving the most vulnerable people in society at risk.

Speaking at the launch today, John Hemming MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, said: “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. It is the first coherent proposal to attempt to do this, and it merits close attention.”

Shaun Chamberlin, Director of the Lean Economy Connection and co-author of the report, said: “It is essential that we prepare now to mitigate the energy shortages of the future. We are calling on the government to move beyond research and into the development of a framework to reduce carbon emissions, to ensure that the UK is ready to implement energy rationing at short notice.”

Commenting on the need to involve citizens fully in the task of controlling climate change, Mr Chamberlin added: “Tradable Energy Quotas 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; we are in difficult times, and we should not take money away from people when they need it the most. TEQs is about motivating people to cooperate in the common challenge of drastically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Copies of the report, Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs): A Policy Framework for Peak Oil and Climate Change, can be downloaded or ordered from www.teqs.net/report.

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