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Environmental Law

Vanderbilt University Law School

2008

Carbon

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Individual Carbon Emissions: The Low-Hanging Fruit, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Jack Barkenbus, Jonathan Gilligan Jan 2008

Individual Carbon Emissions: The Low-Hanging Fruit, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Jack Barkenbus, Jonathan Gilligan

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The individual and household sector generates roughly 30 to 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and is a potential source of prompt and large emissions reductions. Yet the assumption that only extensive government regulation will generate substantial reductions from the sector is a barrier to change, particularly in a political environment hostile to regulation. This Article demonstrates that prompt and large reductions can be achieved without relying predominantly on regulatory measures. The Article identifies seven "low-hanging fruit:" actions that have the potential to achieve large reductions at less than half the cost of the leading current federal legislation ...