Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Carbon Rationing Action Groups

Insights for designing Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) policy

As part of our work on Personal Carbon Allowances, Rachel Howell is researching Carbon Rationing Action Groups (CRAGs) in order to determine whether they have anything useful to tell us about the potential design of a PCT policy.

Carbon Rationing Action Groups are grassroots groups of concerned citizens who set themselves a carbon ration for the year and provide support and encouragement to members seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Some groups have a price for carbon for those who exceed the target, and even basic trading systems whereby under-emitters are rewarded using the financial penalties collected from over-emitters. These groups are therefore operate the nearest thing in existence to PCAs. Rachel has been interviewing members of different CRAGs to discover whether and how they have cut their emissions, and what they have found easy/difficult about trying to do so; what they think about personal carbon trading, both within CRAGs and in a nationwide, compulsory scheme; and the significance of being in a CRAG, given that emissions reductions are made at an individual/household level.

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