Hold polluters accountable


Why are we letting big industry pollute our back garden? Unregulated industrial practices destroy our natural environment and cause lasting damage that future generations will be left to clean up.


  • UK industrial and commercial emissions reached 64.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2019, making it the fourth biggest source of CO2 emissions in the UK.
  • Carbon trading as a tool to control emissions has failed.
  • Human-induced climate change has made the 2018 record-breaking UK summer temperatures about 30 times more likely than it would be naturally.
  • Emissions must drop 7.6% per year from 2020 to 2030 for the 1.5°C goal and 2.7% per year for the 2°C goal. Whilst the difference between 1.5 and 2°C may seem negligible, it is crucial: At 1.5°C warming, about 14%of Earth’s population will be exposed to severe heatwaves at least once every five years, while at 2°C that number jumps to 37 percent – each small increment of warming has exponential impacts.


There are a variety of policy options available to government; the literature recommends that a combination of these is more effective than implementing a single option:

  • Carbon tax – A government defined tax rate on greenhouse gas emissions. The UK government has placed this policy as a fall back option due to the Brexit withdrawal agreement stating that the UK is to remain a member of ETS, however this should be an actual policy measure.
  • Incentives & penalties – for example, tax reductions for early compliance and penalties for failures to comply.
  • Indirect measures – for example, direct fuel tax, removal of fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Binding legislation – commits the country to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030,


  • Industrial emissions are brought under control, thus reducing pollution.
  • There is a binding legislative commitment to the drastic reduction of industrial emissions, upheld by a carbon tax and incentives and punishments for those who do and do not comply.



Germany’s first climate laws came into effect in December 2019. This legislation, among other things, commits the country to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030.



California has been a trendsetter with binding legislation. Created in 2006, Assembly Bill 32 requires the state to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. As per the Dailymail link below, the state has recently approved a new plan to reduce emissions by a further 25% by 2030, with all energy being carbon-free by 2045.



Sweden currently holds the highest share of renewable energy (54.6%) among EU member states, despite consuming relatively higher energy per capita. This was achieved in part through market-based policies that provide financial incentives to use renewables. One example is the Electricity Certificate System implemented in May 2003. For electricity suppliers or producers to qualify, they must supply or generate some proportion of renewable energy. This has encouraged investment in nuclear and hydropower and facilitated an increase in renewable energy production. Another keystone of Sweden’s climate policy is the carbon tax implemented in 1991, applicable across households and industries.