Carbon-CAP Tool


This tool provides a summary of policy instruments that might underpin consumption-based reductions in national and global carbon.

Each policy instrument was assessed against a sub-set of criteria. The analysis considered political, legal, social and administrative barriers to implement each policy instrument at a sufficient scale, geographically and in terms of economic sectors. In evaluating instruments, there was a distinction between ‘theoretical effectiveness’, meaning the effectiveness suggested by models (for example global macroeconomic models in the case of price mechanisms used to drive consumption changes ), and ’empirical effectiveness’, meaning the measured impact on consumer behaviour and related carbon emissions. There was a significant gap between expected and actual performance of policies; therefore, the focus was placed largely on empirical experience.

Step 1 Choose a sector or an instrument

Classification Matrix Instruments

Class'Mandatory' 'Voluntary' 
  • Product labels
  • Approved technology lists
  • Graduated tax on advert
  • Information campaign
  • Product location at sale
  • Ranking and awards campaigns
Regulatory / administrative
  • Regulatory standards
  • Licenses
  • Government procurement
  • Recycling requirements
  • Product ban
  • Waste targets, requirements and/or prices
  • Deposits / refunds on purchased goods
  • Limits on percentage ownership or use
  • Sector trade body standards
  • Business emission agreements / allowances
  • Supply chain procurement requirements
  • Voluntary agreements by trade organisations
  • Extension of product lifetime
  • Retailers product choice
Economic / financial‘Externality / Cost-raising’
  • C-intensive materials charge
  • Carbon embodied charge
  • Product user fees
  • Waste targets, requirements and/or prices
  • Minimum price limits
  • Business emission agreements / allowances
‘Subsidy / cost –reducing’
  • Subsidy
  • Deposits / refunds on purchased goods
  • Product tax incentives
  • Trade Env Goods and Services agreements - e.g. tariffs
  • Preferential finance terms
Enabling infrastructure & institutional
  • Mandatory metering
  • Infrastructure Improvements
  • Enabling recycling
  • Enabling product sharing