Carbon Pricing – so polluters pay and people profit

Carbon Pricing poster

Clive Elsworth – 30 March 2016

On Wednesday 30th March the second in a series of ‘Reading climate forums’ discussed ‘carbon pricing’ – under which the cost of damage expected from global warming would be reflected in the price of fossil fuels.

Speaker Clive Elsworth from the UK branch of the Citizens Climate Lobby explained the ‘Carbon Fee and Dividend’ approach under which a fee would be paid when fossil fuels were imported or extracted by mining or drilling … and the money raised would be shared equally between all households.

Clive argued that fossil fuels must be priced out of the market – subsidies to renewables or energy efficient travel only reduce cost of activities so lead to more consumption. He said he had been inspired by climate scientist James Hansen’s book “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity”.

Campaigner Justin Bowles then presented the views of three economists and a sociologist – saying that 90% of economists favour some form of carbon tax or carbon pricing to address climate change. He discussed the difficulties of setting a price today to reflect the risk of damage in the future.

Clive finished by hosting a role play exercise, where the audience were invited to try out some useful influencing techniques to try and sell the ‘Carbon Fee and Dividend’ concept to their local MP.

logoFor more detail please see:  notes on climate justice and sustainable development_update (pdf)

logoAnd you can view Clive’s slides here (pdf)

Extreme Events and Climate Chanage


Chris Beales – 16 March 2016

A series of ‘climate forums’ kicked off on Wednesday 16 March when Chris Beales, a local hydrologist and climate change specialist, discussed the links between ‘Extreme Events’ – weather events that can dramatically affect our lives, our homes and our communities – and climate change – which is often described by quite modest-sounding increases in global average temperature.

Extreme Events and Climate Change poster
The presentation showed that global and UK average temperatures are rising and are now at their warmest since records began, and the number of Extreme Events is increasing and records for temperature and rainfall are being broken.

Chris said that average temperatures are projected to rise significantly and we can expect to see even more Extreme Events – bigger and more frequent droughts and floods and heatwaves – which we need to prepare for.

Chris commented: “The world has important choices to make: if we significantly cut our use of coal, oil and gas … and meet the targets agreed in the Paris conference in December … we could limit the average rise in temperature to two degrees. Otherwise the climate could change very dramatically and the accompanying Extreme Events are going to be very difficult to deal with!”


To view Chris’ presentation online – with annotated notes – please click here: Extreme Events and Climate Change slides.