55 UCLA L. Rev. 1701 (2007-2008)
Individual Carbon Emissions: The Low-Hanging Fruit

handle is hein.journals/uclalr55 and id is 1713 raw text is: INDIVIDUAL CARBON EMISSIONS:
THE LoW-HANGING FRUIT
Michael P. Vandenbergh*
Jack Barkenbus**
Jonathan Gilligan***
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 regu-
lation 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, require limited up-front government expen-
ditures, generate net savings for the individual, and do not confront other barriers.
The seven actions discussed in this Article not only meet these criteria, but also will
generate roughly 150 million tons in emissions reductions and several billion dollars
in net social savings. The Article concludes that the actions identified here are only
a beginning, and it identifies changes that will be necessary by policymakers and
academicians if these and other low-hanging fruit are to be picked.
IN TR O DU CT IO N  .................................................................................................................. 1702
I.   LOW -HANGING    FRUIT  CRITERIA  .............................................................................. 1709
A .  M agnitude  ................................................................................................... 1710
1.  A ggregate  Em issions  ................................................................................  1710
*     Professor of Law and Director, Climate Change Research Network, and Co-Director,
Regulatory Program, Vanderbilt University Law School. This Article was supported by funds from
Vanderbilt Law School and the Vanderbilt Center for the Study of Religion and Culture. We would
like to thank Carrie Armel, Linda Breggin, and Paul Stem for helpful comments on this project.
Amanda Carrico, Jeffrey Halmos, Andrew Hardin, Jennifer Magill, Paul Padgett, and Smith Podris
provided research assistance.
**    Associate Director, Climate Change Research Network, and Senior Research Associate,
Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies, Vanderbilt University.
*** Associate Director, Climate Change Research Network, and Senior Lecturer, Department
of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University.

1701

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