The new feature, which is a part of CBA’s online banking platform, was introduced thanks to a collaboration between Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and Cogo, a provider of “carbon management solutions.”
The bank offers customers the opportunity to “pay a fee” to offset their carbon footprint, with the average reported as 1,280 kilograms, a far way from the ‘sustainable’ figure of 200 kilograms.
A customer’s carbon footprint is computed, and a “equivalent” metric is then displayed to make them feel bad, such “8 trees being cut down.”
“By combining our rich customer data and CoGo’s industry-leading capability in measuring carbon outputs, we will be able to provide greater transparency for customers so that they can take actionable steps to reduce their environmental footprint,” CommBank Group executive Angus Sullivan said in a statement.
The bank has committed to reducing the calculation’s intricacy and displaying the amount of CO2 that can be attributed to specific purchases.
Some worry that such programs could one day become mandatory and impose restrictions on purchases made by customers who go over their “carbon allowance” even though they were initially marketed as a convenient way for people to monitor their consumption habits and the purported impact they have on the environment.
“All adults would get an equal tradable carbon allowance that reduces over time in line with national [carbon] targets,” according to the “carbon allowance card” that would be given to everyone.
The strategy would be a “national mandatory policy,” according to the authors.
Anyone exceeding the limit would be required to buy more units on the personal carbon market from individuals who had extra to offer. Carbon units would be “deducted from the personal budget with every payment of transport fuel, home-heating fuels, and electricity bills.”
Naturally, the wealthy would have no trouble affording the offsets, and many of them have direct investments in the trading systems upon which the program would be built.
It is made explicit in the proposal that the methods for calculating a person’s intake of carbon units for travel would work “on the basis of tracking the user’s movement history.”
According to the authors, widespread compliance to COVID-19 lockdown regulations has paved the way for even more intrusive dictatorship, and as a result, “people may be more prepared to accept the tracking and limitations related to PCAs to achieve a safer climate.”
Read this study: Personal Carbon Allowance Revisited