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Stuart Capstick


Potential for a genuine carbon currency with financial and ... Zurich: Institute for Empirical Research in Economics. Roberts, S. & Thumim, J. (2006) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stuart Capstick

Stuart Capstick Alan Lewis Department of
Carbon as a parallel currency
  • Lessons from other parallel currencies
  • Carbon as more than a simple unit of account
  • Potential for a genuine carbon currency with
    financial and environmental/moral dimension

  • What is Personal Carbon Trading (PCT)?
  • Carbon as a parallel currency
  • Why Psychology?
  • Visibility of carbon in PCT
  • Social Psychological insights
  • Behavioural economics
  • Framing PCT
  • Researching Psychology of PCT
  • Where next?

Visibility of carbon
  • The visibility of carbon information within PCT
    may underlie many of its likely effects
  • Indirect evidential support that heightened
    visibility in PCT could have range of effects
  • information provision
  • goal-setting
  • feedback
  • learning about carbon impacts and self-efficacy
  • operation in tandem with other measures

Social Psychology of PCT
  • Changing habitual behaviours
  • Opportunities to engender carbon norms?
  • Crowding in vs. crowding out motivation
  • Particular criticisms by Frey Stutzer (2006)?

Behavioural economics
  • Mental accounting may lead to carbon as a
    resource being treated differently under PCT than
    in other scenarios
  • Budgeting capability
  • Endowment effects
  • Reference price effects
  • Windfall effects
  • Possibility of contradictory and complementary
    ways of thinking about carbon

Framing PCT
  • Rations vs. Entitlements
  • Costs vs. Rewards
  • Obligation vs. Self-efficacy
  • Inconvenience vs. Simplification
  • Proscription vs. Flexibility
  • Restrictions vs. Collective effort
  • Finance vs. morals

Wider issues
  • Political and public acceptability of PCT
  • Policy competition with taxation, upstream
    trading, etc.

Researching Psychology of PCT
  • A massive societal overhaul, at present proposed
    despite almost no direct Psychological evidence
  • Real-life trials proposed but difficult
  • Virtual trading research underway
  • Surveys useful but hypothetical
  • Simulations could test some cognitive claims

Where next?
  • Whether or not PCT ever appears...
  • How can carbon literacy be developed, formalised,
    made visible and meaningful?
  • How much can the individual achieve through
    carbon watching?
  • If not PCT, then what other means to encourage
    individuals own efforts at carbon conservation?

References and further information
  • Abrahamse et al. (2005). A review of intervention
    studies aimed at household energy conservation.
    Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25(3),
  • Fawcett, T., Bottrill, C., Boardman, B. Lye, G.
    (2007). Trialling Personal Carbon Allowances.
    Oxford Environmental Change Institute.
  • Frey, B. Stutzer, A. (2006). Environmental
    Morale and Motivation. Zurich Institute for
    Empirical Research in Economics
  • Roberts, S. Thumim, J. (2006). A Rough Guide to
    Individual Carbon Trading The ideas, the issues
    and the next steps. Report to DEFRA from the
    Centre for Sustainable Energy.
  • Seyfang, G. (2007). Personal Carbon Trading
    Lessons from Complementary Currencies. CSERGE
    Working Paper ECM 07-01.
  • Starkey, R. Anderson, K. (2005). Domestic
    Tradable Quotas A policy instrument for reducing
    greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. Tyndall
    Centre for Climate Change Research, technical
    report 39.