Back in May one of our members, Rob Paton, wrote about submitting a motion to Milton Keynes Council that:
Within three months of taking office as Council Leader, will you commit to seeking all-party support for a Council resolution that commends a national policy based on Carbon Fee & Dividend; and meeting with us to discuss appropriate wording for this?
We are happy to report that Milton Keynes Council has now voted unaminously for a motion to support the Climate Income Policy. The press release states…
“COP us a bung, Boris!” – Green City makes all-party call for bolder climate action before big UN conference.
Milton Keynes Council has voted unanimously for a motion supporting higher fossil fuel prices linked to compensating payments to all adults. The Council will ask the government urgently to appraise how the idea of a carbon fee & dividend – already being implemented in Canada – could work in the UK.
Under this arrangement, fuel levies are paid back to citizens at a flat rate – so the wealthiest who use fossil fuels the most pay the most, while the less well off receive back more than the amount they pay in increased fuel prices.
Council Leader Peter Marland (Labour) commented: “ Milton Keynes was one of the very first councils to declare a climate emergency. That was like setting off the fire alarm. This is a way for the country to tackle the source of the blaze.”
Deputy Leader Robin Bradburn (Lib Dem) stated: “ Milton Keynes has shown that, done the right way, realistic carbon pricing can gain cross-party approval.”
Councillor Alex Walker, Leader of the Conservative group said: “ This idea is compatible with current government thinking and definitely needs to be progressed.”
The motion was requested by the Climate Campaign team of Citizens:mk
Rev Catherine Butt, of St. Frideswide’s Church said: “Carbon fee and dividend offers a way for us all to pay realistically for the carbon we use, and for us to share equally the income generated. We have a wonderful opportunity to pursue a policy that preserves our precious environment and also positively addresses poverty and inequality. In the year of COP 26, it would be fantastic to see the UK commit to this approach.”
Rick Mutwarasibo, of Christ the Cornerstone Church and one of the team said: . “Young people like me will bear the brunt of the impending disasters. You may think transitioning to renewable energy sources and retrofitting premises for carbon neutrality is expensive. But those costs are small compared to the costs of fire, flood, food shortages and rising sea levels. Climate Fee & Dividend will drive decarbonisation.”
Rob Paton, of MK Quaker Meeting said “It’s vital to secure the buy-in of those citizens who are struggling to keep their families fed and housed and who might otherwise become another generation of fuel tax protesters. Direct payments can secure their support in tackling the climate emergency.”
TEXT OF THE MOTION
the Climate Emergency – Carbon Fee and Dividend
Councillor Wilson-Marklew (15 June 2021)
- That this Council, having declared a Climate Emergency and its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050, welcomes the recently published MK Sustainability Action Plan, but recognises wider carbon neutrality and meaningful climate action will require bolder national policies.
- That this Council notes:
(a) that stated current government policy is to reduce carbon emissions by 68% on 1990 levels by 2030;
(b) the deeply felt concerns of MK residents who are aware that national and international expert advisory bodies report that progress to date is insufficient to meet the global challenge on climate change by 2030; and
(c) the commitment given by each political group on Milton Keynes Council at the Citizens:MK Accountability Assembly in April 2021 to discuss the Carbon Fee and Dividend system as introduced in Canada and Switzerland.
- That this Council agrees:
(a) with the widely understood principle that polluters should pay for the damage they cause;
(b) on the importance of levelling up and of ensuring a solid social and political consensus to sustain the transition to a low carbon way of life;
(c) that Milton Keynes should continue as a leading green city; and
(d) that we wish to see the UK set an example to the world in the year that the UK hosts the United Nations climate change conference (COP 26).
- That this Council therefore resolves to:
(a) broadly support the principle of the Carbon Fee and Dividend system;
(b) call on HM Government to appraise the likely impacts of carbon pricing based on this approach and publish the results; and
(c) ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Business,
Energy and Industrial Strategy to express these views and ask that the work is undertaken prior to COP 26.
CCL UK congratulates Rob Paton for planning and carrying out this campaign and bringing it to a successful fruition! With the issue of carbon taxing being discussed by the media on an almost daily basis and being discussed by the Government why not seize the moment and consider approaching your local council for a similar declaration. As Rob said in May:
What might this mean for you as a CF&D activist where the situation is very different? Perhaps there are other existing groupings and networks you can work through. Might there be support for an all-party resolution in your Council? Ask to have coffee with someone who has some sort of standing, to seek their advice…
At the risk of sounding corny, nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come as can be seen on this recording!