In a discussion paper published Jan. 29, 2013, by the University of East Anglia Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science, Dr. Grischa Perino indicates that the present carbon emission cap and trade schemes practiced in Europe, Australia, and the United States all but negate an individual’s efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.
Dr. Perino contends that cap and trade schemes favor certain industries, such as electricity production and aviation. The recommended changes that individuals are urged to participate in to reduce carbon emissions, like flying less and using energy efficient lighting, do nothing to reduce the actual emission of carbon dioxide because the system is rigged to favor business first.
"Buying energy efficient appliances still makes a lot of sense as they often save more on electricity bills than the extra cost incurred in buying them and it reduces other forms of environmental pollution, but it does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions,"
Consumers who want to reduce the climate impact of their consumption and lifestyle should focus on reducing emissions not regulated by the cap and trade schemes. These changes, including driving your car less, eating less red meat, and improving the insulation of your home, substantially reduce your carbon footprint.
The cap and trade schemes in the United States (the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Western Climate Initiative) reduce greenhouse gas emissions only because the cap is lower than the amount regulated sectors would emit in its absence.
The paper was reviewed at the Eureka Alert website the date of publication.