Key Research & Articles

in chronological order


Nature Sustainability article Prof. Francesco Nerini of Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology partners with several experienced specialists to argue that the time is now for trialling and implementation of TEQs or a similar system, integrating AI and machine-learning. (Aug ’21)

The Political Economy of Deep Decarbonization…/ An exceptional peer-reviewed paper – “The Political Economy of Deep Decarbonization: Tradable Energy Quotas for Energy Descent Futures” – by Samuel Alexander and Joshua Floyd of the University of Melbourne. This considers TEQs in the full context originally intended by the late Dr. Fleming; as a practical tool for managing our descent from the all-time peak in societal complexity and carbon/energy consumption. (Aug ’20) Matthew Taylor has brought David Fleming’s legendary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It into the online, hyperlinked world. This interactive, searchable version of Fleming’s astonishing vision for a post-growth future is currently accessible without charge, thanks to the generosity of Chelsea Green Publishing. (Mar ’20)

Island trial results…/ Alexander Hendry’s thesis gives a detailed and positive report from Southern Cross University’s Norfolk Island trial, the world’s first tradable carbon rationing system test in a ‘closed system’ environment – see 2011 below.
(Dec ’19)

European Commission debate…/ Molly Scott Cato MEP chairs a well-attended discussion on TEQs at the European Commission in Brussels. Friends of the Earth Europe’s Riccardo Mastini (from the 30 minute mark) and Cambridge University’s Blake Alcott put the case for the system to senior representatives of the Commission and the assembled attendees. (Sept ’18)

David Fleming’s posthumous books…/ Chelsea Green Publishing have posthumously published both David Fleming’s lifework Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It and a paperback version created by Shaun Chamberlin – Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy. These entertaining books lay out Fleming’s broad and astonishing vision for a post-growth future. (Sept ’16)

Beyond carbon pricing to TEQs – reconciling scientific reality with realpolitik…/ The definitive peer-reviewed paper on TEQs, covering its design, history and importance, and contrasting its hard cap on emissions with the ‘carbon pricing’ approach that has undermined public engagement with, and support for, climate policy. Published in Kevin Anderson’s ‘Radical Emissions Reductions’ special issue of Carbon Management, and now the most-read paper in the journal’s history. (July ’15)

Radical vision could be the answer…/ Tina Fawcett’s piece for The Conversation argues that in the absence of other big ideas to address emissions, it’s time to get serious about TEQs and related systems (collectively termed Personal Carbon Trading).
(Mar ’14)

A review of research evidence and real-world experience…/ International researchers Yael Parag and Tina Fawcett published this peer-reviewed paper in the open access journal Energy and Emission Control Technologies, summarising all of the existing research and evidence into TEQs and related systems. (Oct ’14)

Centre for Sustainable Energy report…/ One of a series of papers finding that current energy policies disproportionately benefit the rich. In line with their prior work, this paper finds that “personal carbon allowances” could play a key role in a more progressive policy solution that would not disadvantage the poor. (Mar ’13)

French campaign website for TEQs The website (in French) of campaigners in France working on TEQs, including translations of a number of our documents.

Tim Yeo MP…/ The Chairman of the UK Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Committee repeats his call for Britain to pioneer TEQs, with a pilot in his own constituency. (July ’12)

Adam Corner in The Guardian…/ Social psychology researcher Adam Corner wonders whether the lack of political appetite for TEQs may be because the system would expose current inequality. (Apr ’12)

European Energy Law Report (IX)…/ In this submission to the European Energy Law Report, Suryapratim Roy and Edwin Woerdman of the University of Groningen Faculty of Law examine the legal nuances of implementing TEQs or, as they term it, End-User Emissions Trading. (Feb ’12)

The New Home Front 2 The New Economics Foundation’s second New Home Front report advocates TEQs, drawing parallels with wartime experiences as it explores the challenges of addressing climate change. (Feb ’12)

Carbon Reduction Action Groups (CRAGs)…/ This paper in Energy Policy examines the experiences of CRAGs – networks of people implementing TEQs-type systems voluntarily at the community level – and the lessons for policy. (Nov ’11)

Personal Carbon Trading: A Radical Policy Option…/ Researchers Yael Parag and Deborah Strickland argue that TEQs and other similar systems represent an innovative and essential challenge to policymakers’ thinking on the role of citizens in climate mitigation. (Feb ’11)

Island trial…/ Australia’s Southern Cross University is leading a project on Norfolk Island, testing the world’s first tradable carbon rationing system in a ‘closed system’ island environment, starting in 2011 (for results, see 2019 above).

All Party Parliamentary report…/ This key report outlines the TEQs system and why it is so urgently needed, before pulling together the latest research to demonstrate that the UK government’s conditions for considering implementation of TEQs have been met. For links to the extensive international media coverage attracted by its publication, see here. (Jan ’11)

A policy ahead of its time?…/ Tina Fawcett’s article in Energy Policy makes a compelling case for the necessity of exploring radical policy like TEQs in order to enable the radical emission reductions now enshrined in the UK Climate Change Act. Also see her 2012 paper in Carbon Management. (Oct ’10)

Climate Policy special issue…/ Yael Parag and Tina Fawcett edit a special issue of the Climate Policy journal, looking exclusively at ‘personal carbon trading’, including TEQs and PCAs. (Sept ’10)

Sharon Astyk on energy rationing…/ Astyk considers whether energy rationing could be made politically palatable in the US. (Aug ’10)

The Times – Lord Smith of Finsbury…/ The Chairman of the Environment Agency states that “rationing is the fairest and most effective way of meeting Britain’s legally binding targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions”. (Nov ’09)

Plan B? The prospects for personal carbon trading…/ The Institute for Public Policy Research’s report examines the case for and against TEQs, and concludes that Government should prepare the ground for possible future implementation. (Sept ’09)

Resurgence magazine…/ Our own Shaun Chamberlin writes on the need for a framework to encourage local-level solutions to our energy/emissions crisis. (Apr ’09)

BBC Radio 4 (audio)…/ In this 12 minute discussion of Peak Oil from BBC Radio 4’s “You and Yours” programme, John Hemming MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas, explains why TEQs are the only just option for the UK Government. (Sept ’08)

Polly Toynbee in The Guardian…/ Following Colin Challen MP’s June 2008 letter to the paper arguing that the rapid behavioural change necessitated by climate change means that we must implement carbon rationing, Polly Toynbee’s article derides the delay in implementing an idea described by DEFRA as “ahead of its time”. (Aug ’08)

New Statesman articles…/ Rowena Macdonald reports from the 2008 Climate Camp at Kingsnorth, pointing the Prime Minister towards TEQs, while Peter Wilby makes the moral case for the system. (Aug ’08)

Responses to the UK Government’s feasibility study Critical responses from The Fleming Policy Centre and the Centre for Sustainable Energy, as well as the IPPR’s parallel research and the BBC’s coverage of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC)’s full response. The Government’s October 2008 response to the EAC’s comments can be found here, and the June 2009 ministerial debate at Westminster here.

UK Government feasibility study into TEQs…/ After the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s 2006 scoping study (below) returned positive findings, the UK Government commissioned a further four reports, as a feasibility study into the TEQs system. Since the DECC website is forever changing its structure, here are direct links to the reports: Distributional Impacts report, Effectiveness and Strategic Fit report, Public Acceptability report, Technical Feasibility report (also: Synthesis report). (May ’08)

Newsnight (video) David Strahan, author of The Last Oil Shock and TEQs advocate, is interviewed on the BBC’s “Newsnight” programme. Discussion of TEQs from the two-minute mark. A previous Newsnight discussion on TEQs can be seen here. (May ’08)

Trialling Personal Carbon Allowances…/ This paper from the UK Energy Research Centre concludes that a TEQs-type system cannot be accurately simulated at a local level, but that a trial could nonetheless provide useful policy insights and enable communities to engage with addressing our climate/energy challenges, and thus should be funded. (Dec ’07)

Zero Carbon Britain This report was published by the Centre for Alternative Technology, laying out the challenges we face and presenting a bold, radical vision of how Britain could eliminate carbon emissions altogether within 20 years. The suggested policy framework is built around Contraction and Convergence at the international level and TEQs at the national. (June ’07)

History and Policy paper…/ (full paper here) Historian Mark Roodhouse examines wartime rationing and finds that “the use of taxes alone to control consumption was rejected in the World Wars, and they would not achieve the quick, dramatic cut in carbon consumption that we need now to avert environmental disaster. Tradable carbon rations would have a real impact”. He also submitted evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee’s investigation of TEQs and wrote an op-ed for the Financial Times, later developing this theme further in his 2013 book Black Market Britain, 1939-55. (Mar ’07)

Australia – Ian Dunlop…/ A submission to the Australian Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading by a former CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and former chair of both the Australian Coal Association and the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading. (Mar ’07)

The Ecologist…/ Stephan Harding’ article addresses economic growth and the potential impact of TEQs on the global economy. Mark Jansen’s 2010 article provides an update. (Dec ’06)

The Centre for Sustainable Energy’s ‘Rough Guide’…/ The UK Government commissioned this scoping study, conducted by Simon Roberts and Joshua Thumim. This paved the way for the Government’s feasibility study – see 2008 above. (Nov ’06)

Green Party of England and Wales…/ A briefing from the Green Party of England and Wales on their adoption of TEQs as party policy. (Oct ’06)

David Miliband speech…/ David Miliband, then Secretary of State for the Environment, sets out the case for what he terms ‘personal carbon trading’ as an effective, equitable carbon reduction framework that empowers citizens. (July ’06)

David Boyle article…/ David Boyle looks back from 2021 to the day when TEQs were implemented in 2011! (Feb ’06)

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research…/ Kevin Anderson and Richard Starkey investigate TEQs (then known as DTQs). Their positive findings helped spread early interest within the policy community. (Dec ’05)

Energy and the Common Purpose – 3rd edition The revised and expanded third edition of David Fleming’s popular guide to TEQs. Available as a free download or to purchase in hard copy. (Oct ’05)

Forum for the Future article…/ Roger East talks with some of the early pioneers of TEQs/DTQs. (Nov ’04)

UK Parliament Private Members Bill…/ . The Domestic Tradable Quotas (Climate Change) Bill, submitted to Parliament by Colin Challen and ten other MPs (Domestic Tradable Quotas was Fleming’s original name for TEQs). (July ’04)

Guardian article…/ Kevin Anderson and Richard Starkey of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research introduce TEQs to the mainstream debate. (Apr ’04)

Policy Studies Institute…/ Simon Dresner and Paul Ekins compare the impacts of various proposed policies for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from transportation (including TEQs, then called DTQs), focusing on whether they are likely to benefit higher-income or lower-income households. (Mar04)

Early history of TEQs…/ For the early history of TEQs, from first publication back in June 1996 and 1997’s first discussion paper, see page 39 of the 2011 All Party Parliamentary report; this outlines TEQs’ gradual political progress via journals, presentations, reports, discussion in several books etc.  All leading to 2004’s above-listed PSI paper and parliamentary bill. (Jun ’96)

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