C-PREE Bradford Seminar: Do Carbon Offsets Offset Carbon?

Raphael Calel is a professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. His research focuses on the effects and effectiveness of carbon trading, as well as the on the integration of climate science into economic analysis.

Abstract: We develop and implement a new method for identifying wasted subsidies, and use it to provide systematic evidence on the misallocation of carbon offsets in the Clean Development Mechanism---the world's largest carbon offset program. Using newly constructed data on the locations and characteristics of over 1,000 wind farms in India we estimate that at least 52% of approved carbon offsets were allocated to projects that would very likely have been built anyway. In addition to wasting scarce resources, we estimate that the sale of these offsets to regulated polluters resulted in substantially higher global carbon dioxide emissions.

Note: This event will not be livestreamed or recorded. In-person attendance only.


The David Bradford Energy and Environmental Policy Seminar Series is coordinated by the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment (C-PREE), and co-sponsored by the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI). This seminar is also co-sponsored by the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

This in-person event is open to the public. Princeton University community members do not need to RSVP. Members of the general public should RSVP to ccrosby@princeton.edu and will be accommodated as space allows.