The Royal Academy of Engineering said today that market based instruments and engineers were critical to providing the solutions to the problem of climate change. Commenting on Sir Nicholas Stern’s Review on the Economics of Climate Change, Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“Market based instruments have a vital role to play in reducing CO2 emissions. Neither an entirely voluntary nor a purely regulatory approach is likely to be effective. We need to go with the grain of human nature and give countries, organisations and individuals an incentive to protect the environment.

“Climate change is an international problem requiring international solutions. So we support the creation of an effective European emissions trading scheme, with a view to linking it to other countries and states over time.

“Our national tax system should be revised. A tax levied on the amount of Carbon emitted should be introduced so that the organisations responsible for producing the most CO2 and the drivers of fuel inefficient vehicles pay more.

“Building regulations should be framed to encourage energy efficiency. Better insulation and solar panels should be provided for in new domestic properties to help individuals play their part in addressing climate change. This could be further encouraged through the planning process.

“The Government should also come to a quick decision on the future of nuclear power and the disposal of nuclear waste. Prevarication is no longer an option.

Mr Greenish concluded:

“The UK is responsible for just 3% of global CO2 emissions. However, we have the opportunity to develop and export to the rest of the world innovative engineering solutions to improve the efficiency of energy use, to reduce energy demand and to capture and store CO2.”

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Dr Richard Wilson at The Royal Academy of Engineering