Scenario: Fair Shares
Overview of Fair Shares
Oil peaks by 2007, but the response to the shortage of oil is immediate. Governments realise that, without an international agreement to share out the limited amount of oil and gas on a non-market basis, over-high oil prices will threaten both oil-producing and oil-consuming countries with depression and financial ruin.
A system called Cap and Share is put in place which adopts the position that everyone has an equal claim to be able to use the atmosphere as a dump for his or her greenhouse gas emissions and issues permits for them to do so. These permits can then be traded on the free market but the effect is to control and limit the supply of fossil fuels.
Fair Shares Summary
Characteristics of Fair Shares
The Business Sector
Timeline for Fair Shares
2005 - 2015
2016 - 2035
Energy prices still rising at 6% a year relative to incomes.
Number of cars on roads continues to fall. Bus and train services become more frequent. Cycling returning to levels last seen in the 1950s.
Network of regional factories set up to convert forest thinnings and other biomass into ethanol for use in cars. The yield is boosted by adding hydrogen made using surplus wind electricity.
Tidal lagoon developed in Galway Bay to feed electricity into the grid. Massive developments in offshore windfarms.
Horse breeders find that it is more profitable to breed heavy horses for use in city deliveries and on farms than to produce show-jumpers and racers.
Many communities set up ESCOs – energy supply companies, to provide themselves with heat, light, cooling and vehicle fuels from local resources. Legislation passed which enables local authorities to take over the electricity distribution networks in their areas for use by ESCOs so that the latter do not have to install their own sets of wires.
Air travel becomes too expensive for casual use. Sections of Dublin airport are taken out of use. Excess capacity in the hotel sector. Many hotels close.
Out-of-town shopping centres with poor public transport links suffer declining sales. Ireland turns out to be seriously over-shopped and many outlets close, particularly those selling inessentials. The rentals charged on retail properties plummet. All shops now offer delivery services because of the growing number of customers without cars.
Bakeries distributing over wide areas replaced by local ones. Local breweries and brew-pubs flourish.
The number of people employed in horticulture begins to rise as Irish produce replaces imports. Most livestock farms have biogas digesters.
Plastic packaging becomes progressively expensive. Non-returnable glass containers are banned. An EU directive standardises the sizes and shapes of glass bottles and jars, limiting the total number to 60. An Irish law is passed making it compulsory for a returnable deposit to be charged on glass containers and several small companies are set up to collect glass containers from shops, sort and wash them, and supply them to local food and drink manufacturers.
2036 - 2055:
Energy prices still increasing at 6% a year in relation to wages. As a result, by 2042 it takes eight times as long to earn enough money to buy a unit of electricity than in 2006. Petrol and diesel prices have risen by even more as alternative ways of powering road vehicles, trains, ships and aircraft are still inefficient and expensive.
Sail-wing ships increasingly used to carry freight around the world. Airfreight now too costly for all but exceptionally high value items. IKEA goes into liquidation. Production becomes smaller scale and more local but computer-controlled machinery gives the flexibility for a wide range of products to be made economically in one factory.
Jobs are still plentiful as people are increasingly being used instead of machines. Range of consumer durables becomes more limited and customers look for long-life products which can be readily repaired. When non-EU products are offered, they are suspicious because they worry about the availability of spare parts in a few years’ time.
Sales of processed food fall as more preparation work is done at home. Richer people take on servants. Fewer and fewer people live alone because of the cost of running a house. It becomes common for older, unattached people to share a house just as young people do today.
Many isolated houses are boarded up and abandoned. However, most people want a garden to grow some of their food and councils are compelled to provide allotments.
Arable farmers switch to no-till methods of production and use horses rather than tractors for field work. Many more people are employed on all farms and a more diverse range of crops and animals are kept.
Very few people can afford their own cars. Instead, older people belong to car clubs and hire electrically-powered models when they need to go somewhere without adequate public transport. Younger people cycle.
Key Fair Shares Facts in 2015
What are we eating?
What are we watching?
Most popular Websites
What are we selling