Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 409–433

Privatizing Climate Change Policy: Is there a Public Benefit?

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9568-0

Cite this article as:
Matisoff, D.C. Environ Resource Econ (2012) 53: 409. doi:10.1007/s10640-012-9568-0
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Abstract

The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) are two private voluntary initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions and improving carbon management by firms. I sample power plants from firms participating in each of these programs, and match these to plants belonging to non-participating firms, to control for differences between participating and non-participating plants. Using a difference-in-differences model to control for unobservable differences between participants and non-participants, and to control for the trajectory of emissions prior to program participation, I find that the CCX is associated with a decrease in total carbon dioxide emissions for participating plants when non-publicly traded firms are included in the sample. Effects are produced largely by decreases in output. CCX participation is associated with increases in carbon dioxide intensity. The CDP is not associated with a decrease of carbon dioxide emissions or electricity generation, and program participation is associated with an increase in carbon dioxide intensity. I explore these results within the context of voluntary environmental programs to address carbon emissions.

Keywords

Voluntary environmental programsClimate change policyChicago climate exchangeCarbon disclosure projectDifference-in-differences modelPropensity score matchingGreenwash

JEL Classification

Q50Q54Q58D80C23

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public PolicyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA