As a follow-up to the publication of the Stern report, Ruth Lea, femme fatale of the Centre for Policy Studies, writes in an op-ed about the gaping flaws in the government's moral crusade on climate change. The strongest of these is the international co-operation required to stem carbon emissions. The tone of the government's campaign is to put taxes in place, providing an example for other countries to heed.
I have little doubt that the Government will use the Stern report as a political prop, under the guise of the moral case for saving the planet, for unilaterally raising energy costs. We are promised a climate change Bill, which will enshrine carbon reduction targets, unquestioning enthusiasm for the flawed EU's emissions trading scheme and more green taxes.
Green taxes can be mightily unpopular, as shown by the fuel protests of September 2000, which led to the suspension of the fuel duty escalator. Perhaps the Government feels that, by emphasising the moral case for saving the planet, this will sweeten people's attitudes. I'm not so sure.