The Telegraph reports that Lord Smith of Finsbury, as Chairman of the Environment Agency, has suggested that we should all have our own personal annual carbon allowances. I can see some advantages here. (1) we will all need ration cards of some sort, so that means work for civil servants and sub-contractors, (2) promotion of the 'black economy' (are we still allowed to say that?) to bypass (1), indirectly boosting the economy (any activity is better than none), (3) Courts can deduct carbon points from ration cards as a punishment, perhaps effectively preventing some criminals from travelling abroad (4) Individuals can trade their carbon credits in the same iffy way that countries do now. The disadvantage is, I think it will be clumsy to supervise, as the international market does not seem to be formally regulated, so we would have to make up rules from scratch. The link is http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/6531329/Carbon-budgets-are-fair-says-Lord-Smith.html And here is the article, to save you the effort By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent Published: 7:00AM GMT 10 Nov 2009 Lord Smith of Finsbury, the Chairman of the Environment Agency (EA), said introducing a "personal carbon allowances" in the next 20 years was the only way the UK could meet ambitious climate change targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He said it was the most fair way of rationing carbon than allowing the market to decide in the future when fuels become more expensive. Related Articles Nuclear plants get go-ahead despite safety fears "Do we simply use a price mechanism so only the rich can take a flight or do we have an allowance mechanisms so that people who do not have much money can take a flight?" he asked. The UN Climate Change Conference in December is likely to commit rich countries to cutting their greenhouse gases by 25 to 40 per cent by 2020. Speaking at the Environment Agency annual conference, Lord Smith said that the best way to do this is to introduce "carbon taxes" on fossil fuels that will force industry to stop polluting. This will "inevitably" lead to a rise in petrol prices. He said the only fiar way forward is to allow everyone a certain amount of carbon so that both rich and poor have the same opportunity to take part in "carbon intensive activities" like flying. "We do need to address the issue of equity because what will inevitably come out of Copenhagen is the price of a litre of petrol or taking a flight is likely to go up," he said. "Does that mean you are going to consign people who are on low incomes to not having the ability to do anything that generates more carbon, whereas people who have more money will be able to do what they like? That equity issue is seriously one that we need to think about."