Greenhouse Gas Reductions or Greenwash?: The Doe's 1605b Program

42 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2007  

Thomas P. Lyon

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Eun-Hee Kim

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Date Written: November 2006

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Electric Utilities, Department of Energy, greenhouse gas registry, 1605b program, carbon emissions, greenwash

JEL Classification: A00

Suggested Citation

Lyon, Thomas P. and Kim, Eun-Hee, Greenhouse Gas Reductions or Greenwash?: The Doe's 1605b Program (November 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=981730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.981730

Thomas P. Lyon (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States
734-615-1639 (Phone)

Eun-Hee Kim

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

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