Skip to main content navigation
Site logo
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by Sitebuilder
© MMVIII  |  Privacy

Global Warming Bonds - Transcript


10:00:15:00            Oil & Gas rigs burn off
                                Car Exhausts, traffic
                                Professor Oswald walking
                                Taxis past

GuideVoice: Can we stop Global Warming? Many people believe that despite the Kyoto agreement, we are not moving fast enough to cut our dependence on fossil fuels, and that future generations will pay for the damage we have caused.

Among them is Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. He has come up with his own radical proposal, to create incentives that will make us change our behaviour faster.

10:00:39:04   SOT: Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics, University of Warwick: - "I'd like to see us tackle global warming with what I call global warming bonds, and those would be a kind of financial incentive that would persuade people today to change how they are acting. To drive cars that produce less carbon emissions for example. And the idea behind these global warming bonds is that they would be funded by unborn generations, in a sense that would allow unborn babies to vote with their wallets to get us to change how we act today."

10:01:05:02            Fuel pump & Traffic sequence
                                Hydrogen buses & cars
                                Cu wind turbine
                                GVs Wind farm

Guide Voice: The proposed Government Bonds would start to pay out around the year 2045 and would be paid for by our grandchildren through taxation. Professor Oswald argues that transport, which now consumes a third of all energy used in the UK, is a key area where they could have an impact.

Even moves to convert buses and cars to run on hydrogen cells do not go far enough because the energy used to create hydrogen would have to come from a renewable source too. Wind farms and solar power are becoming increasingly important energy sources, yet they do not produce enough energy even to meet our transport needs.

10:01:41:20    SOT: Professor Oswald: - "If we work out how many wind turbines would be needed in Britain just to power our cars through hydrogen the answer comes to about one hundred thousand wind turbines in our country alone just to fuel transport, if you think about the spacing of those then you get an area bigger than Wales or even if you put them offshore you would get a strip of turbines about ten kilometres wide all around the shores of Great Britain. We need enormous land areas devoted to renewable energy and I think its vital that British citizens face up to this."

10:02:16:02            Congestion charge signs
                                Planes take off, in air,
                                Holiday plane landing
                                Wind farm shots

Guide Voice: While congestion charging in London has proved effective in cutting traffic in the city centre, Professor Oswald is arguing for a nationwide road charging system, to challenge our reliance on cars. Air travel is another key concern. Energy consumption here has tripled in the last thirty – five years, making it the fastest growing source of all carbon emissions in western society.

So what could compel today's population to forgo our foreign holidays and cars, and curb our use of greenhouse gases in order to pass on a cooler planet to our grandchildren?

Pounds make the best persuaders, argues Professor Oswald. Compensating individuals, companies and countries who cut emissions, with bonds that guarantee a steady stream of income in the future, would be a viable way of reducing global warming today.

10:03:04:23    SOT: Professor Oswald: - "On the face of it, it does sound harsh to require unborn people to pay for our excesses, but what's the alternative? We need to get our citizens to change their actions now, future generations will be much richer than us anyway, if they were here they would be happy to pass over some of their cash to get us to drive cleaner cars to take shorter holidays. Why not use some of their money through a global warming bond to get our citizens to change their actions today?"

Ends.               Duration 3mins 18 seconds

Page contact: Shuehyen Wong Last revised: Wed 20 Apr 2005
Back to top of page