I want to report on an article I recently read for another class - coursework fidelity is not my strong suit. Please accept my sincerest apologies for crossing any taboo student/course relationship boundaries.
The article surveyed 60 policy evaluation reports from 30 countries in an attempt to assess which policy instruments are the most appropriate and cost-effective in reducing CO2 emissions (i.e. energy consumption) from buildings. Twenty policy instruments were addressed in the report, listed below:
Control and regulatory instruments
Economic and market-based instruments
Fiscal instruments and incentives
Support, information and voluntary action
Mandatory labeling and certification
Energy efficiency obligations and quotas
Mandatory demand-side management
Energy performance contracting
Energy efficiency certificate schemes
Taxation (on CO2 or household fuels)
Public benefit charges
Capital subsidies, grants, subsidized loans
Voluntary certification and labeling
Voluntary and negotiated agreements
Public leadership programs
Awareness raising, education, information campaigns
Mandatory audit and energy management requirement
Detailed billing and disclosure programs
There were originally only three categories: Regulatory, Economic, and Voluntary. Economic incentives were then divided into Fiscal and Market-based categories, the first involving actual financial transfers, the latter involving only market forces. Now, take a minute to review the 20 incentives and guess the top five most effective in reducing GHG emissions, in general and in terms of cost-effectiveness ($US/ton CO2 saved).
… (take your time)
Are you ready for the winners? Where do we energy policy mongers need to focus our energies, if you will? According to the study, appliance standards, building codes, tax exemptions/reductions, labeling, DSM programs, and energy-efficiency obligations are the breadwinners. In short, regulatory instruments were generally the most effective. Another take home point from the article: no single instrument can capture even a large share of effective and low-cost mitigation. The answer is a combination of regulatory, fiscal/market-based and informational-related instruments.
Do the conclusions make sense? I’d say so. We humans are a dim lot and it is in our best interest to have many problems taken care of for us behind the scenes. ‘Raising awareness’ does very little, but changing the things we spend our money on, whether we know it or not (appliance standards, building codes, DSM programs, product labeling), and changing the amount of money we have to spend (tax exemption/reductions) will drive us in the right direction.
Source:Ürge-Vorsatz, et al. (2007) Appraisal of policy instruments for reducing buildings’ CO2 emissions. Building Research & Information 35(4), 458-477.
To the reggae festival I go,