This is why we have set up Sandbag. We believe emissions trading can be a very effective tool if used correctly. But the vested interests lobbying civil servants and Governments are getting in the way. There needs to be a strong voice to counter-balance them and to act as a watchdog to ensure the schemes have integrity.
Emissions trading rules are complex and it is therefore unsurprising that hordes of people have so far not been exercising their democratic right and demanding change. But that is what needs to happen if we are going to see action on the scale and timetable necessary to avoid even more dangerous levels of climate change.
So Sandbag is here to create a bridge between us and the decision makers. We want to make emissions trading understandable and the decisions being taken that effect how it works much more visible. We want to campaign to make it work more effectively and we want to reduce the numbers of permits that are in circulation.
'We' in this case is a small team of people based in London. But we need to attract many more supporters and advocates for change to truly have an influence. The internet is the perfect tool to help us create this much larger, more influential 'we' and we hope to attract as many people as possible to the cause. Our measurement of success will be the number of permits we successfully remove from circulation. People can help us to achieve this by supporting our campaign to cut the number being supplied and by giving us money to enter the market to buy and remove permits from the system.
In our first year we have bought 2000 permits from a UK Hospital who have promised to spend the money on further improving their energy efficiency. Every permit bought and destroyed is a message to the politicians from our supporters: "We've parted with our cash to take permits out of the system. Now play your part and make sure that there aren't so many supplied in the first place."