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  • Climate Change Surprise
    Posted by Madhu Unnikrishnan 1:25 PM on Dec 18, 2009

    A story in New Scientist says we can, in fact, afford to go green. The magazine commissioned consultancy Cambridge Econometrics to model the cost of climate change legislation to the average European citizen. What the study found was surprising.

    European climate change legislation will add a few cents to most food items and just a few dollars to the cost of such items as washing machines, rising just 2%. The average household will see its electricty bill will rise just 15% between now and 2050, and that translates into a few dollars a month to the consumer now. The price of food and cars will rise 1% each, while the cost of electronics might rise 2%.

    But the one anomaly Cambridge Econometrics and New Scientist found was air travel, which could rise by as much as 140%. That would drive the cost of the average round-trip ticket between New York and London from $560 to $1,400.

    Airlines have no alternative to jet fuel, so they can't offset the costs as other industries can, New Scientist reports. Until an alternative fuel -- one that fulfills the mandates of the emissions trading scheme's regulations -- is found, airlines will pay 100% of their carbon emissons costs.

    So what does that mean for airlines and consumers? Perhaps the cost of a washing machine may go up a few dollars, but probably not enough to dissuade the consumer. But faced with a 140% increase in ticket fares, will as many people choose to travel?

    Tags: tw99, environment, emissions

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