Greenhouse Gas Reductions or Greenwash?: The Doe's 1605b Program
Thomas P. Lyon
University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
This paper presents the first empirical analysis of the factors that lead electric utilities to participate in the Department of Energy's voluntary greenhouse gas registry, and the impact of participation on their actual emissions performance. We find that firms are more likely to participate when the cost of participation is lower and when the pressure to participate is higher. We also find that participating in the 1605b program has no statistically significant effect on a firm's carbon intensity, i.e., carbon emissions per unit of electricity generated. This suggests that firms' participation may be a form of greenwash, that is, an attempt to appear more environmentally friendly than is really the case.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: Electric Utilities, Department of Energy, greenhouse gas registry, 1605b program, carbon emissions, greenwash
JEL Classification: A00working papers series
Date posted: April 23, 2007
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