Title Public response to CO2 control
 Collaborators Hadi Dowlatabadi (CMU), Shui Bin (CMU)
 Keywords CO2 emissions, individual lifestyle adjustment choices
 Abstract

Simple personal resource use calculators have been developed allowing individuals to characterize their patterns of activity by responding to a few questions and viewing the CO2 emissions associated with their lifestyle. We use these calculators to first inform individuals about their role as a source of CO2 emissions. We then ask the users three questions:

Given this new information on their role as a source of CO2, would they choose to alter their lifestyles and how?
The response of citizens to whether and how they might adjust their lifestyles in response to learning about its emissions consequences will shed light on issues of availability and value of information to efforts aimed at changing lifestyles at the grass-roots.

If there were a mandate to reduce emissions marginally (i.e., no more than 10%) how would they go about altering their lifestyles?
Responses to questions about marginal change in lifestyle inform us about how lifestyles may be adjusted slightly with minimal loss of utility. We can compare adjustments chosen by users with the marginal supply curves of CO2 control developed in economic studies. Differences between these identify areas of market failure ­ the lowest marginal costs do not correspond to the least utility loss. This is where government intervention in the market is assured to increase welfare.

If there were a mandate to reduce emissions drastically (i.e., more than 50%) how would they go about altering their lifestyles?
Responses to questions about radical change in lifestyle inform us about the perceived limits to lifestyle changes. Beyond this limit of acceptable change, the reduction of CO2 emissions is only possible by de-coupling energy services from CO2 emissions. The results obtained will help us identify energy-services were technical change de-coupling emissions from energy services are needed. This is where longer-term R&D investments are assured to increase welfare.