A recent Government study into personal carbon trading1 (PCT) concluded that as a policy instrument PCT has potential to engage individuals in taking action to combat climate change, but is essentially ahead of its time and expected costs for implementation are high.2 . Yet, at the same time Defra has recognised that further research is being taken forward by academics and research institutions outside of Government, and Defra will keep a watching brief on their progress3 . PCT related research studies being undertaken in different universities and institutions across the UK, or overseas, have not yet been brought together in a coherent way and interaction between researchers has been limited. In addition, the Defra studies have highlighted some areas for further research. Thus, the key aims of the workshop were to:
- Map the field of PCT research: learn what each of us is doing and our respective research focus;
- Determine where we have got so far, in terms of knowledge and understanding of PCT and its related issues;
- Discuss future research directions with regard to funding opportunities;
- Create a PCT researchers network; and
- Discuss and agree the process for publishing a PCT edited volume through the Climate Policy journal that provides a comprehensive, state-of-the-art review of PCT research to date.
These key aims have largely been met. In the Appendix of the main report is a document setting out the research interests of the workshop participants, giving a flavour of who is doing what where. The Climate Policy journal has expressed interest in publishing a special issue on PCT in early 2010. Papers for this special issue are now being coordinated by the Environmental Change Institute of the University of Oxford.