Special Issue "Personal Carbon Trading"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Tina Fawcett
Guest Editor
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QY, UK
Interests: energy policy; energy demand; energy in buildings
Dr. Yael Parag
Guest Editor
School of Sustainability, IDC Herzliya, Israel
Interests: energy policy; future electricity markets; prosumer markets; community energy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Governments around the world have set net zero carbon targets for 2050 or earlier, while national parliaments and local governments are declaring a ‘climate emergency’ and there is considerably increased public concern about climate change. Two major international social movements—the youth strikes for climate and Extinction Rebellion—are calling for increased action. The importance of personal actions as compared with wider system change is a matter of public discussion. It is clear that governments will need new policies to help meet their very challenging net zero targets.

Personal carbon trading (PCT) is a policy idea that links global carbon reduction targets with personal action, and could provide a framework for change. PCT is a general term used to describe a variety of downstream cap-and-trade policies, which locate the rights and responsibilities for carbon emissions from household energy use and/or personal travel or from all emissions across the economy at the individual level. Ten years ago, the knowledge on PCT was gathered in a journal Special Issue (Fawcett and Parag, 2010). The time is ripe for a new Special Issue to summarise the current state-of-the-art research; to reflect on what has been learned over the past ten years; to present new empirical, theoretical, and modelling research; and to consider what this policy idea has to offer in the new, even more urgent context.

We invite authors to contribute to a Special Issue on PCT that includes the latest research on personal carbon trading and related concepts. Topics of the Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • New policy designs for PCT
  • PCT in the context of energy system change towards electrification and low-carbon electricity
  • How and whether PCT could be trialled before widespread introduction
  • Experimental trials or case studies that look into aspects of personal carbon trading, such as reward schemes for low-carbon choices
  • The technologies needed to implement a PCT scheme
  • Where the responsibility for carbon emissions lies, and how that can translate into policy design and action
  • The scope and boundaries of PCT policy
  • Options for allocation of carbon allowances, the fairness of different allocation methods
  • Modelling of PCT and its effects in terms of equity, distributional effects, effectiveness, or other characteristics
  • The readiness of different nations to introduce radical climate policies
  • Public perceptions and acceptance of PCT policies
  • Economic feasibility and economic models for PCT, the economics of PCT


Fawcett, T. and Parag, Y. (2010) An introduction to personal carbon trading, Climate Policy, 10:4, 329-338

Dr. Tina Fawcett
Dr. Yael Parag
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Just Transitions, Poverty and Energy Consumption: Personal Carbon Accounts and Households in Poverty
Energies 2020, 13(22), 5953; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13225953 - 15 Nov 2020
Complex relations exist between issues of poverty, responsibility and just transitions toward reduced household energy use. One proposed transitional instrument is Personal Carbon Accounts (PCAs) which provide equal per capita carbon allowances and increase costs for additional usage. Previously modelled PCAs show that [...] Read more.
Complex relations exist between issues of poverty, responsibility and just transitions toward reduced household energy use. One proposed transitional instrument is Personal Carbon Accounts (PCAs) which provide equal per capita carbon allowances and increase costs for additional usage. Previously modelled PCAs show that a third of households in poverty must curtail usage or pay more for some of their fuel, hitherto making PCAs ethically and politically untenable. Using the UK’s “Understanding Society” database, average per capita carbon allowances and—using occupancy data—the hypothetical allowance each household would receive within a PCA scheme are calculated. Occupancy levels, equivalised incomes and conversion of expenditure to carbon emissions permit analysis of households emitting more or less carbon compared to their allocation. We demonstrate that households emitting greater than average levels of CO2 do so mainly for lifestyle reasons, irrespective of income. Any calculation of legitimate social and environmental cost of CO2, even for households in poverty, must consider questions of choice and capacity to act. This suggests that even if certain low income, high emitting households are disadvantaged by the transition associated with personal carbon allowances this may still be a just transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personal Carbon Trading)
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