The Drax power station is in the United Kingdom. It is the country’s most polluting power station and emits almost 22 million tons of CO2 a year. This is 2 million and a half times more than an ordinary British citizen. In light of this, individual efforts to limit one’s emissions can seem laughable.
From a moral point of view, it is not because others are doing evil that we also have to, or that we don’t have to do our best. But from a practical point of view, a lot of electricity is used directly by citizens for lighting, for example, and indirectly for street lights and to make businesses work. Thus, Drax produces 7% of the United Kingdoms electricity. This is the equivalent of what 4 million British people consume…
Companies that control Drax or other industrial sites earn money by selling polluting energy but they can only do so because others are prepared to buy it. Citizens were able to see the power they can wield over politicians as consumers in the 1920s when Gandhi organized the boycott of English fabrics, during the boycott of racially segregated buses in the United States in 1955, and more recently, against companies like Shell and Nike. Over the past few decades, this sort of action has developed further because of fair trade and responsible trade.
Citizens are not the only ones who must make an effort; governments have a role to play and can increase the efficiency of initiatives. The best example is the EU Energy Label. This label which has been compulsory for certain domestic electrical appliances in the European Union since 1995 is based on a set of energy efficiency classes from A to G. In the space of a few years, it has significantly changed the market and consumption patterns.