Hot on the heels of the policy fiasco of feed-in-tariffs, the government has announced a consultation on another major piece of green policy the Carbon Reduction Commitment putting the future of this scheme into question. How has this happened?
When the CRC was devised ‘Cap and Trade’ was the pin-up model for some of the most vocal parts of the green movement which definitely helped get the concept onto policy-makers radars.
Civil servants soon found that the relatively simple idea was a complex nightmare to deliver. The solution they created pleased few and felt cumbersome in the extreme.Many of the mechanisms they put in place were made redundant before the scheme even went live when the Treasury decided to commandeer all the money generated thus effectively turning the CRC into a costly, randomly targeted tax attached to a reputational league table.
Ironically, the decision by the Treasury has saved the government from some PR own goals.If the transfer of money from poor to good performers had still been in place it is possible that funding from the poorly ranked Winchester and Eastleigh Health Care Trust would have ended up in the coffers of highly ranked British American Tobacco.You can only imagine what headline writers would have made of that.
The current government consultation is focusing largely on easing the operational cost and administrative burden of the scheme which clearly shows where their focus is during these times of austerity. But Global Action Plan, with support from CloudApps, is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the impact of the CRC as we feel that this will help create better informed policy in the future.
Our interest is around questions such as: Have the reputational league tables had any impact on generating carbon savings?What actions have the CRC encouraged organisations to take already and what are they currently planning to do in the future?Would other policy activities – such as mandatory carbon reporting – be more or less likely to generate change within the business?
To answer these deeper issues we are encouraging organisations who are directly impacted by the CRC to spend a few moments to complete a questionnaire.We will analyse the results and share them openly with organisations, media and the government.We will be holding a webinar with 2degrees where interested companies can discuss and refine the findings so that the true impact of the Carbon Reduction Commitment is really understood.
We feel that it is important to take a dispassionate, independent and informed view of the impact of the CRC.Without this we will be destined to continue on a treadmill of policy interventions that start off with all the best intentions but end up in some very odd places.
If you’re part of a CRC participating organisation, have your say in our survey: CRC Research 2012.