So in the spirit of Kyoto, I thought I'd float some eco-ideas out there in cyberspace. These are just ideas - debateable, questionable and even possibly quite silly... but float them I will...
IDEA 1: Capping Car Registrations
It seems a little silly to have an ever increasing amount of cars on the road. Surely if we set a limit to just how many can be registered, then people will most likely share cars or find alternative (and more sustainable means of travel). Obviously cars that use miniscule amounts of fuel or are completely fuel-free would be given priority or possibly be exempt from this cap. Priority for registration should also be given to those facing the most hardship too (e.g. those living far from (decent) public transport services, those who work out of normal business hours, those who are caring for others, etc.
Less cars on the road also equals less road trauma (providing driver training and safetly initiatives remain at the same level), less congestion and may actually lead to better economic outcomes. Fuel would be cheaper since demand would be down and, if eco-friendly cars are given priority or are exempt from the cap, then demand for these vehicles would obviously increase.
IDEA 2: Public Transport Tax Concessions
I've always thought it silly that businesses that give their employees cars and parking spaces as part of their employment packages actually get some sort of benefit from it. Obviously there is incentive for them far beyond enticing more talented people into their company. I may be wrong, however.
Regardless of this, why can't businesses get tax concessions for giving their employees public transport tickets as part of their employment packages? Add to this the employee's opportunity to claim public transport use (even outside of working hours) as a tax deduction if they personally had bought the tickets.
IDEA 3: Provide Better Public Transport
Simple. If all public transport modes run frequent enough, throughout the entire city up to at least midnight, then people will more likely use it. Twenty-four hour public transport is viable in large cities like Melbourne and Sydney.
IDEA 4: Free Grey Water Re-use Systems for Concession Card Holders
These machines basically make grey water (i.e. from your washing machine, kitchen sink, shower, basin, etc) back into drinkable water. While providing these free for concession card holders, it would be beneficial to increase the cost of water in order to encourage others to re-use grey water too.
IDEA 5: Tax Environmentally Harmful Goods More
We have a consumption-based tax which can be used more effectively to encourage people to buy products that are more environmentally responsible. Meat should at least have GST attached to it - plus a green tax of an additional 10% (possibly more if you buy that meat in a burger from McDonalds). I might be biased here as a vegetarian but surely there are better ways of using our remaining arable land than by using it for cattle grazing.