SRI Seminar: Tina Fawcett - Personal carbon allowances: An idea worth pursuing?

Tina Fawcett, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford Title: "Personal carbon allowances: An idea worth pursuing?"

Link to recording:

Abstract: More than ten years ago, the idea of personal carbon trading / allowances was a focus of high-level political attention in the UK. Personal carbon trading (PCT) is an umbrella term for a range of policy proposals which aim to cap and reduce carbon emissions fairly and effectively, by locating rights and responsibility at the individual level. This talk describes the key features of different PCT schemes and highlights areas of controversy – including the idea of trading, how fairness is defined and whether and how such a scheme could be introduced in practice. It also considers whether policy makers’ earlier verdict on PCT as an idea ‘ahead of its time’ is still valid today.

There appears to be a new wave of interest in this concept – but will it fare any better with politicians and the public than it did last time around? It this something academics should spend time pursuing, and if so, what research contribution would be most useful?

Recent references:

Bio: Tina Fawcett's research concerns energy use by households and organisations, and uses a multi-disciplinary approach to understand current patterns of use and to identify opportunities and policies for reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

Tina leads the 'policy and governance' theme in the Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions. Her research work within CREDS focuses on policy for further, faster and more flexible delivery of energy demand reduction, particularly in relation to buildings energy use. She also works on: Energy Superhub Oxford, a large demonstration project trialling smart local energy systems; M-BENEFITS an EU H2020 project on the multiple benefits of energy efficiency for businesses; and, the EPSRC Network for the Decarbonisation of Heating and Cooling. Tina is involved in climate change education research and outreach, including with Oxford's Department of Education on 'climate change education futures in India' and in developing Maths for Planet Earth.

Recent research includes developing the idea of sufficiency in energy services, supported by ECEEE and UKERC. Tina has worked on a number of projects focused on SMEs: 'Growing Green' a pilot project addressing the issue of sustainable growth by engaging SME owners and managers; 'Growing Greener' on engaging with business advisors; UKERC Phase 3, looking at decision-making and how SMEs engage with energy. Other previous work includes ENSPOL - a European project on energy efficiency policy, particularly energy company obligations and IN-BEE - a European project on the multiple benefits of energy efficiency; 'Building Expertise', which investigated the current and potential future roles for a range of professions as they react to the low-carbon renovation agenda, in both the UK and France; and work for DECC assessing evidence on energy-related decision making in organisations.

From 2005 - 2010 Tina was a member of UK Energy Research Centre's demand reduction research team, doing research on personal carbon trading, the role of heat pumps in the UK, and energy use in the higher education sector.

Tina teaches the 'policy and governance' module on the Energy Systems MSc.

Dr Tina Fawcett - Environmental Change Institute - University of Oxford