The United Kingdom has a problem. Although it signed the Kyoto Protocol proposed by the United Nations, it --
like every other nation country which did -- has been wholly unable
to meet treaty commitments, and has actually been
increasing CO2 emissions faster than the non-signatories like the United States.Embarrassing ... but what to do about it? Pass more laws, of
To that end, a new plan is recommending sweeping new changes to
force residents to reduce electricity consumption. Tops on
the list? A ban on new sales of plasma televisions. Surprisingly
enough, the plan comes not from the Labour or Liberal Democratic
parties, but from a group organized by Conservative Party Leader
While plasma TVs are especially singled out, the plan also targets
all items that use over an arbitrary level of electricity, including
high-performance personal computers and some household appliances.
Additionally, the report recommends banning the "standby"
functionality on consumer electronics, which allows them to be
quickly turned on by remote control. Some 2% of the island nation's
electric usage is thought to be due to standby equipment power draws.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already
announced his ambition to eliminate the stand-by function on all
appliances sold in the country, claiming it was part of British
responsibility to "protect the environment."
Critics of the plan claim it will simply create a "grey
market", where those with money will continue to be
able to purchase banned items at higher prices. But former
Environment Secretary and plan chairman John Gummer says, "The
imperative of global warming demands that we change [our approach]
utterly - not just governments, but businesses, groups and
individuals."Even with the plan implemented, the United Kingdom is
not expected to meet Kyoto Protocol commitments. No word yet on
what next will hit the ban list.