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Climate Campaigns, Cap and Trade, and Carbon Leakage: Why Trying to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Can Harm the Climate

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  • Grischa Perino

Abstract

Governments and environmental NGOs campaign for carbon footprint reductions by households. Many of the behavioral changes recommended reduce demand for goods produced by sectors covered by cap-and-trade schemes. With a binding cap, greenhouse gas emissions from those sectors do not change. I show that climate campaigns create leakage effects if coverage of cap-and-trade schemes is incomplete. Campaigns that shift demand away from sectors subject to a cap increase aggregate emissions, as do campaigns to reduce carbon footprints generally if the capped sectors are emission intensive. However, campaigns targeting sectors not covered by a cap-and-trade scheme or propagating retiring of emission allowances reduce emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Grischa Perino, 2015. "Climate Campaigns, Cap and Trade, and Carbon Leakage: Why Trying to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Can Harm the Climate," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 469-495.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/682572
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ma, Chunbo & Burton, Michael, 2016. "Warm glow from green power: Evidence from Australian electricity consumers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 106-120.
    2. Heindl, Peter & Kanschik, Philipp, 2016. "Ecological sufficiency, individual liberties, and distributive justice: Implications for policy making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 42-50.
    3. Andor, Mark Andreas & Gerster, Andreas & Peters, Jörg & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2017. "Social norms and energy conservation beyond the US," Ruhr Economic Papers 714, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. repec:eee:jeeman:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:102-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:joepsy:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:41-59 is not listed on IDEAS

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