Roddy Graham's Blog: 19 September 2007
19 September 2007
Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo
When is government going to stop pussyfooting around the whole issue of carbon footprints? And I don't just mean our government. The Bush administration is responsible for..
A call for leadership
When is government going to stop pussyfooting around the whole issue of carbon footprints? And I don't just mean our government. The Bush administration is responsible for governing a nation that is responsible for a quarter of the world's carbon emissions.
Closer to home, we've got the Lib Dems stating their aim to ban all petrol-driven cars from our roads by2040. You can bet that David Cameron will come up with his take on the green challenge. Even more of a racing certainty is that no party will risk alienating the voter in the run up to any general election.
Left to our own devices, society would gradually dissolve into disorganised anarchy. That's why we have government. To democratically put in place structures, rules and regulations to make our world a better place to live in. Government should be leading the way. But what is it really doing?
The answer is very little. My view on politicians' organisational abilities is well known to regular readers of my blogs but one recent statistic confirmed my view. Following an audit of a major government department on vehicle usage and mileage driven it was discovered that five million miles were 'business miles' and 50 million were 'grey business miles'!
If government departments have little or no control over mileage driven, with millions of pounds paid out in mileage reimbursement and a resultant out-of-control carbon footprint, what kind of example are they showing? A classic case of do what I say, not what I do!
Long-term, we have a looming crisis created by our own hand. It's high time someone seized the initiative and pulled together a plan that the nation can buy into.
The Frankfurt motor show has shown that the leading vehicle manufacturers are not prepared to be the scapegoats. They are willing to do their bit but are calling on governments throughout Europe to do their bit as well. There is a call for an integrated approach. Could the EC finally have a major role to play in uniting all the interest groups for the common good?
What we definitely do need is some leadership from the top. We've had the carrot, now we need the stick or else nothing will really ever change and we'll have to pay the consequences.