Significant published documentary and academic literature already exists on many levels covering the concept of carbon allowances, personal carbon trading, tradable energy quotas, national emissions allocations, internationally negotiated emissions reductions reflecting historical emissions, and a fair transition to a zero carbon world.
We are particularly interested in economic modelling with the Minsky system dynamics package to investigate potential economic scenarios with a carbon currency based on carbon allowances, and the various facets of the policy as a dual currency monetary system.
A second focus area is the effects of interaction of citizens within a group undertaking non-trivial climate action in their everyday lives.
Policy action to date has been limited to some instances of carbon taxes and carbon pricing, all of which affect the poor more than the rich. For example, the inequities of the carbon tax measure in France caused the “Yellow Vests” protests. Such proposals float the concept of compensating the poor for higher taxes or prices, but the compensation mechanisms are rarely enacted, would be slow in practice, and leave the poor no better off, either absolutely or relative to the rich. The conceptual competition here is with the Canadian carbon tax, where revenues are returned to citizens as a dividend.
The carbon allowances policy would, we hypothesise, benefit the poor substantially and not adversely impact middle income citizens – data shows that the mean carbon footprint is actually significantly higher than the median due to extreme quantities of CO2 emissions produced by wealthy people. The ability to sell carbon tokens to supplement one’s income should result in a political popularity for combating climate change this way. With our research, economic modelling and projections, we hope to replace the old common question “when are we going to introduce a carbon tax?” with the same question but for carbon allowances.
But the crisis is not just CO2 emissions. It is multi-faceted. Our focus is on the intersection of environmental and economic issues, to link our research to other work on e.g. planetary boundaries, circular economies, biodiversity loss, and ecological footprints.
EcoCore focuses on several research topics, collaborating with researchers at various academic institutions working in this field. We are looking for post-docs, doctoral researchers, masters students and similarly diploma or undergraduate students interested in this area.
If you are interested in collaborative research, please get in touch.