Britons fear the carbon cops are coming

LONDON Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:35am BST

Horses graze near Ratcliffe on Solar power station in central England, December 8, 2004. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Horses graze near Ratcliffe on Solar power station in central England, December 8, 2004.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

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LONDON (Reuters) - First there were the thought police, then the surveillance society, now Britons fear the carbon cops are coming to ensure compliance with climate change legislation, a survey showed on Wednesday.

And with warnings of global catastrophe ringing in their ears some people fear that failure to cut personal carbon emissions will eventually result in enforced carbon behaviour re-education, the Energy Saving Trust said.

It said 41 percent of Britons think the country will need its own Carbon Police Force by mid-century and one quarter believe repeat offenders will have to go into carbon rehab and take carbon addiction classes.

"The UK's perception is that by 2050 we could have the sort of draconian infringements on our civil liberties that have been highlighted in our research. This need not be the case," said EST chief Philip Sellwood said.

"The carbon emissions we all produce from our homes and travel amount to over 40 per cent of the UK's total emissions so we all have a part to play."

The survey coincides with the EST's "Emission Impossible, a vision for a low carbon lifestyle by 2050."

EST, set up to help people to kick their carbon habit, wants more home power generation, smart meters in homes to help cut power consumption, less water wastage, more reuse and recycling and more emphasis on efficient appliances.

"Our report outlines the Energy Saving Trust's vision for achieving a low-carbon lifestyle by 2050 where we meet our 80 per cent reduction targets without adopting austere lifestyles or making unpleasant personal sacrifices," Sellwood said.

(Reporting by Jeremy Lovell; editing by Matthew Jones)

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