Assembly Members will debate whether to introduce a pilot scheme for Personal Carbon Accounts in Wales on Wednesday (4 October).

Personal Carbon Accounts is a concept developed since the mid-1990s. Each individual has a Personal Carbon Account at the same bank as their current account it is like a bank account with a debit card, and in a different currency.

The government ‘tops up’ the account with free carbon credits each month. Each time a user buys petrol, diesel, gas, electricity or fuel oil the carbon debit card is used to reduce the account balance by the carbon value of the fuel purchased

If users have used all their carbon credits they can buy more. Unused credits can be sold for real money.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Simon Thomas who will open the debate said:

“I’m delighted I’ve secured a debate on this issue with the support of other members from different political parties.

“Personal Carbon Accounts could be an important way of reducing our carbon emissions and mitigate climate chaos. It fits in with the Welsh approach to cut our carbon and wider international agreements like the Paris Accord.

“What is interesting with the Personal Carbon Accounts is that it provides freedom of choice. There is no restrictions on how much or what mix of fuels people use.

“It is not a tax: the amounts paid by high emitters are paid to low emitters and not to government. We all share the burden of dealing with climate change.

“Low users are rewarded with a visible benefit. It is progressive because it impacts on low income groups less. Fairness is built in with everyone getting the same allowance.

“It is voluntary on individuals but mandatory on fuel retailers. The small carbon charge levied on those without carbon cards should persuade the majority of the population to sign up.

“The purpose is not to raise money but to change behaviour as the plastic bag levy did.”

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