Coal, oil and gas industries in the UK cause at least £44 billion pounds of damage each year, according to a new estimate by environmental campaigners. Friends of the Earth have called for the “polluter pays” principle to be applied, with a new carbon tax levied on companies so they can contribute to a green transition. They argue the fossil fuel industry has long been aware of the harmful effects of climate change, such as its impact on extreme weather. “If you pollute, you pay. It’s a simple fix to help avoid catastrophic climate breakdown. For decades the oil, coal and gas industry has extracted, processed, sold and profited from fossil fuels,” said Mike Childs, head of policy for Friends of the Earth. “The costs of this industry are being felt by people and nature across the world through more extreme weather, such as floods, droughts and wildfires. “It’s time the industry is held to account for the range of damage it causes and is made to foot much of the bill for the transition to clean energy.” In their new analysis, the green group used an average “social cost of carbon” price based on a recent studies that have priced up the impact each tonne of emissions has. The campaigners took into consideration fossil fuel companies, the “big 6” energy companies and oil refineries. Their estimate is based solely on the contribution fossil fuels make to climate change, and not other damaging factors such as the effects of air pollution on health.
Independent 24th March 2019 read more »