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26 Feb 2009 05:02:07

Government departments could trade carbon

Government departments could trade carbon
Government departments could be given a carbon budget and will be expected to trade amongst each other in order to meet their targets, energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband has said.

All departments will be asked to take into account the carbon impact of their policy decisions, with a Department for Energy and Climate Change sub-committee tasked with driving change across Whitehall, Mr Miliband told a new committee charged with overseeing his department.

"Every department will play its part in this process of meeting our carbon commitments," he said. "Some departments will have to step up their efforts."

Mr Miliband added that the system would require a "cultural change" within Whitehall and claimed that giving departments a carbon budget and the freedom to trade any surplus carbon allowances would help them focus on reducing emissions.

"Targets are important to drive cultural change but there is nothing like a budget to really focus people's minds," he said.

Mr Miliband's brother David Miliband brought the idea of personal carbon budgets into the political arena when he was environment minister. A recent report by the RSA concluded that to make personal carbon trading viable, people's budgets might have to be managed by their workplace or community schemes.



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