Really quite astonishing

It also matters for another reason. These emissions are what are called Scope 3 emissions from the gas companies. They are responsible for them because they are the foreseeable emissions that result from their sale of gas. That’s what Scope 3 means – they are the emissions caused by what you sell rather than what you do yourself. They should as a result account for them and the cost of their removal within the supply chain they manage under what I call sustainable cost accounting. If they had to do so then they would be starting to sell heat pumps now. But they’re not required to do so, and the accounting standards that are likely to be adopted at COP 26 will not demand that of them, so this problem will continue.

The answer is simple, If only we changed the accounting rules and made the companies selling gas responsible for the emissions resulting from its use they would have to change their behaviour very rapidly. And that is exactly what we need.

OK. So, how much should the gas companies be charged?

The social cost of carbon, obviously, the damage being caused by their Scope 3 emissions. That’s $80 per tonne CO2-e. So, we charge the gas companies $80 per tonne CO2-e in the gas they sell.

That is, Ritchie has just reinvented the carbon tax. Which is, of course, entirely and wholly different from the neoliberal carbon tax – just so you know that.

11 thoughts on “Really quite astonishing”

  1. By his own definition his LLP is bankrupt – theres no way he’s carbon neutral. It’s a vain hope he’ll realise this and stfu.

  2. One of the many things about this emissions’ bullshit that amuses me is that nobody, including Mark “the fuckwit” Carnage and George Biotwat, seems to be aware of plastics. Nor do they seem aware of global shipping. So Carnage, if the oil stays in the ground, where will you buy your shiny synthetic suits? How will electric container vessels recharge every 4 hours in the Atlantic Ocean? To paraphrase Lennon, you can say they are dreamers but they are simply clueless… And ought to be ignored

  3. I’m eagerly waiting his blob post detailing the installation of the heat pump in his house; the digging up of the road for the 3-phase electrical supply, the replacement of radiators & pipes in his house for the larger bore required, then photos of him in a thick jumper because he can only afford to heat his house to 18C.

  4. Diogenes

    You could go back to wind power ie sailing ships. Or more sensibly nuclear powered ones – imagine the screams!!

    But if we ever really tried this there’d be no way out but to synthesise oil from CO2 and H2 extracted from the oceans and atmosphere.

    Since this’d be more expensive, everyone (except those in the Zil lanes) would be much poorer. Which is of course the whole point of it all.

  5. I’m now officially confused about this Scope 3 thing. Does Russian gas count against Russia, the domestic supplier, the household, or all three?

    Maybe some sort of VAT/GST type arrangement might be in order here to offset the inputs from the outputs. And, I can’t believe I just said that.

  6. SINGLE man, living in a FOUR bedroom house, with THREE public rooms, moaning about emissions.

    Pass the fvcking sick bucket.

  7. @Ltw “Does Russian gas count against Russia, the domestic supplier, the household, or all three?”
    I think some people would actually want it to be all three !
    As you say, if the gas supplier is to count it in their scope 3 emissions, then the user can’t count it in their direct emissions. So next thing will be that the price of gas is different depending on whether you are a customer who reports their emissions (so the supplier doesn’t include them and you gas is cheaper), or one who doesn’t (and hence the supplier includes your emissions and adds on the carbon tax).
    But that wouldn’t suit some people. The whole idea of someone being able to supply a polluting fuel and not pay any carbon tax for it’s eventual use would be unthinkable to them. The only thing worse would be a user not paying any carbon tax (because it’s already been paid by the supplier) because clearly they are being allowed to pollute for free !

  8. As I mentioned in a previous post, Pigou Taxation will be in the revised addition of Joy of Tax by a learned professor of our acquaintance. The chapter heading will be “MOAR TAX!” If it isn’t it bloody deserves to be

  9. Gas Co fracks and/or supplies gas and charges those consuming said gas. The rest is nobody else’s fucking business. Bollocks to Govt , eco-freaks–all of the bastards.

  10. Ritchie has just reinvented the carbon tax.

    Somehow I expect even Ritchie’s endorsement won’t be enough to dissuade you.

  11. There’s a big problem with taxing emissions – knowing what they are.

    Natural gas is one of the simpler cases. It contains a lot of methane which burns to produce carbin dioxide. But there’s a problem with taxing it based on its effect on global warming – methane is about 28 times worse than carbin dioxide. So a careless user who loses 4% of their gas should pay more than double the tax of a careful user who burns the same amount without letting any escape. How does a user prove that they haven’t let a small amount of gas escape?

    For other products it’s more difficult. Oil can be burnt, but it also can be made into plastics. Depending on what plastic products are used for, and waste disposal policy (e.g. does waste get incinerated or put in landfill) the effects can vary hugely. Keeping track of all that oil is a huge undertaking, with great scope for fraud. It also allows great scope for environmental conflict. Microplastics are said to persist in the environment for a very long time, making some environmentalists want to eliminate them, but from the point of view of emissions, they cost very little.

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