Monday, January 16, 2006

The boiling point is coming for the fight against climate change

Madilaine Bunting points out how difficult the next phase of the battle against climate change will be :

The first 30 years were the easy bit, argues Tom Burke, a long-time environmentalist. Campaigns on specific issues such as clean air or water or cuddly animals had clear enemies and, crucially, generated more winners than losers. The second phase is much tougher because on climate change the campaign has to be to change our own behaviour: we are the enemies and we will be the losers. "No to low-cost flights to Ibiza" is never going to be a popular rallying cry.

The longer governments leave fair taxation of air travel, the more difficult they will find it to counteract the ever-growing political clout of the low-cost airlines and their millions of customers. But this is the only equitable way of stopping the growth in air travel destroying the benefits of clean energy and energy efficiency elsewhere in the economy.

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