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Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instrument for environmental purposes: changes ahead?

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  • Hélène Joachain
  • Frédéric Klopfert

Abstract

Using complementary currencies systems as policy instruments for environmental purposes is a trend that seems to be progressively emerging in Europe. The Belgian Science Policy INESPO Project ,in the framework of which the research presented in this paper was carried out, is building on this emerging trend. The aim of the INESPO project is indeed to build new instruments for energy saving policies in the household sector based on the innovative coupling of Complementary Currencies (CC) and Smart Meters (SM). This CC-SM instrument is intended to promote both behavioural changes in everyday life and investment decisions leading to increased energy efficiency. In order to gain insights for the design of the CC part of the instrument, a first step was to turn to projects that had already used in the past CC as policy instrument for behavioural change. Two projects (NU-Spaarpas and E-portemonnee) that have pioneered this path in Europe were analysed to this purpose. This analysis revealed that, although those two projects had not been left unnoticed by academics, no taxonomy of their constitutive parameters had been developed yet. This paper is intended to contribute to the research on CC as policy instrument for environmental sustainability by proposing such a taxonomy for those CC projects. The resulting hierarchical classification of parameters has already been tested as a building tool during the design phase of the INESPO project. In the process, it became evident that the conceptual frameworks used to understand and explain behaviours had a major impact on the design of the CC-SM instrument and could lead to very different choices for key parameters of the system.

Suggested Citation

  • Hélène Joachain & Frédéric Klopfert, 2011. "Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instrument for environmental purposes: changes ahead?," Working Papers CEB 11-047, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/101209
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maréchal, Kevin, 2010. "Not irrational but habitual: The importance of "behavioural lock-in" in energy consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1104-1114, March.
    2. Shove, Elizabeth & Walker, Gordon, 2010. "Governing transitions in the sustainability of everyday life," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 471-476, May.
    3. Ropke, Inge, 2001. "New technology in everyday life - social processes and environmental impact," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 403-422, September.
    4. Røpke, Inge, 2009. "Theories of practice -- New inspiration for ecological economic studies on consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2490-2497, August.
    5. Jérôme Blanc, 2011. "Classifying "CCs": Community, complementary and local currencies' types and generations," Post-Print halshs-00583587, HAL.
    6. Jérôme Blanc & Marie Fare, 2010. "Quel rôle pour les pouvoirs publics dans la mise en œuvre de projets de monnaies sociales ?," Post-Print halshs-00516382, HAL.
    7. Anker-Nilssen, Per, 2003. "Household energy use and the environment--a conflicting issue," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 76(1-3), pages 189-196, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joachain, Hélène & Klopfert, Frédéric, 2014. "Smarter than metering? Coupling smart meters and complementary currencies to reinforce the motivation of households for energy savings," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 89-96.
    2. Degens, Philipp, 2013. "Alternative Geldkonzepte - ein Literaturbericht," MPIfG Discussion Paper 13/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

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