UCL News


Saving the planet

26 August 2004

A book offering a practical solution to help halt global climate change has been co-authored by UCL research student Ms Tina Fawcett (Bartlett) and UCL alumnus Dr Mayer Hillman (Bartlett 1954; Dip Town Planning 1956).

How we can save the planet details how 'carbon rationing' could significantly reduce the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon rationing is a way of limiting an individual's contribution to harmful carbon dioxide emissions. For example, in the UK half of all emissions stem directly from within the home and from personal transport by road, rail and air; by rationing our carbon allowance the authors believe individuals will be forced to modify their travel arrangements and use more environmentally friendly products in the home.

Each individual would be given an equal ration of carbon credits which would then be deducted each time a purchase of energy or travel was made - the less efficient the car or light bulb the more carbon credits would be used. The allowance would then be reduced year-on-year to help bring down emissions in line with proposals that the UK reduce its overall emissions by between 60% and 80% by 2050 within an international 'contraction and convergence' framework.

Ms Fawcett believes that without these measures the future is bleak: "Nearly all the hottest years since records have been taken have occurred since the mid-1980s. The world has seen an average temperature rise of 0.6C and in the UK spring is arriving up to three weeks early. If we do not restrict our carbon dioxide emissions, there will be an inevitable and devestating intensification of the problems caused by climate change."

The book, described by the New Scientist as "a small classic on a big topic", was the subject of a specialist seminar hosted by the Institute for Public Policy Research and has been presented at both the Royal Institution and the House of Commons.

To find out more about How we can save the planet, use the link below.

Link: How we can save the planet