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Personal carbon trading: A critical survey

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  • Starkey, Richard

Abstract

In recent years, there has been considerable discussion within UK climate policy circles regarding the appropriateness of personal carbon trading as an instrument for greenhouse gas emission reduction. This paper is the first in a two-part survey of personal carbon trading (PCT), the term used here to describe proposed (sub-)national greenhouse gas emission trading schemes under which at least some emissions rights are allocated to and surrendered by individuals. After introducing the various proposed PCT schemes, the paper compares, in terms of equity, the two most-discussed PCT schemes with two alternative emission trading schemes and a carbon tax. The papers' two key findings are as follows. First, there are strong arguments that the equal per capita allocation proposed under some instruments is not completely fair. Second, the five instruments compared can be equivalent in terms of their equity. Along with equity, efficiency and effectiveness make up three key criteria for comparing environmental policy instruments. As PCT has no advantage in terms of equity, the paper concludes that any case for PCT will depend on it having advantages in terms of efficiency and/or effectiveness. Whether PCT has such advantages is explored in Part 2.

Suggested Citation

  • Starkey, Richard, 2012. "Personal carbon trading: A critical survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 7-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:73:y:2012:i:c:p:7-18 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.09.022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.
    2. Qian Wang & Qiao-Mei Liang & Bing Wang & Fang-Xun Zhong, 2016. "Impact of household expenditures on CO2 emissions in China: Income-determined or lifestyle-driven?," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 84(1), pages 353-379, November.
    3. Fan, Jin & Li, Jun & Wu, Yanrui & Wang, Shanyong & Zhao, Dingtao, 2016. "The effects of allowance price on energy demand under a personal carbon trading scheme," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 242-249.
    4. Fan, Jin & Li, Jun & Wu, Yanrui & Wang, Shanyong & Zhao, Dingtao, 2016. "The effects of allowance price on energy demand under a personal carbon trading scheme," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 242-249.
    5. Spash, Clive L. & Theine, Hendrik, 2016. "Voluntary Individual Carbon Trading," SRE-Discussion Papers 5206, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
      • Clive L. Spash & Hendrik Theine, 2016. "Voluntary Individual Carbon Trading," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2016_04, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    6. Büchs, Milena & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2013. "Who emits most? Associations between socio-economic factors and UK households' home energy, transport, indirect and total CO2 emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 114-123.
    7. Buchs, Milena & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2013. "UK Households' Carbon Footprint: A Comparison of the Association between Household Characteristics and Emissions from Home Energy, Transport and Other Goods and Services," IZA Discussion Papers 7204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Fan, Jin & Wang, Shanyong & Wu, Yanrui & Li, Jun & Zhao, Dingtao, 2015. "Buffer effect and price effect of a personal carbon trading scheme," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 601-610.
    9. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10657-015-9516-x is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Personal carbon trading; PCT; Equity; TEQs; PCAs;

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