Advertisement

Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 521–548 | Cite as

GHG Registries: Participation and Performance Under the Canadian Voluntary Climate Challenge Program

  • Keith Brouhle
  • Donna Ramirez HarringtonEmail author
Article

Abstract

Between 1994 and 2004, the Voluntary Challenge and Registry (VCR) played an important role in Canadian climate change policy. In this paper, we examine the decision of firms to participate in the VCR, the extent of their involvement, and then ask if greenhouse gas emissions are related to past VCR participation. As an information provision program, we find evidence that firms may participate in VCR to signal their environmental responsibility to regulators and to some extent investors, but not to consumers. We also find that past involvement in the VCR is a strong and significant determinant of current involvement in the registry. Greenhouse gas emissions reported to the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program in 2004, however, do not appear to be different between VCR reporters and non-reporters. GHG emissions are observed to be significantly lower among firms that are smaller, emit fewer toxic releases, use more renewable energy sources, are intermediate good producers, and are located in Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba.

Keywords

Climate change registry Dynamic panel probit Information disclosure Voluntary program 

JEL Classification

Q54 Q58 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ando A (1999) Waiting to be protected under the endangered species act: the political economy of regulatory delay. J Law Econ 42(1): 29–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arimura T, Hibiki A, Katayama H (2008) Is a voluntary approach an effective environmental policy instrument? A case for environmental management systems. J Environ Econ Manage 55(3): 281–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arora S, Cason T (1996) Why do firms volunteer to exceed environmental regulations? Understanding participation in EPA’s 33/50 program. Land Econ 72(4): 413–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bramley M (2002) The case for Kyoto: the failure of voluntary corporate action. Prepared by the Pembina Institute. http://www.pembina.org/pub/140. Cited 14 Sep 2008
  5. Brouhle K, Harrington D (2008) Firm strategy and the Canadian voluntary climate challenge and registry (VCR). Bus Strategy Environ 18(6): 360–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Canadian Standards Association (2005) Canadian challenge registry guide. Version 4.0Google Scholar
  7. Canadian Standards Association (2008) Canada’s climate change voluntary challenge & registry inc. http://www.ghgregistries.ca/challenge/index_e.cfm. Cited 14 Sep 2008
  8. Dasgupta S, Hettige H, Wheeler D (2000) What improves environmental compliance? Evidence from Mexican industry. J Environ Econ Manage 39(1): 39–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Deaton BJ, Lintner AM, Harrington DR (2008) Evaluating an environmental right: information disclosure, public comment, and government decision making in Ontario. Can J Agric Econ 56(3): 227–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DeCanio S, Watkins W (1998) Investment in energy efficiency: do the characteristics of firms matter. Rev Econ Stat 80(1): 95–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Energy Information Administration (2004) Voluntary reporting of greenhouse gases 2004. Report #:DOE/EIA-0608Google Scholar
  12. Environment Canada (2008a) Facility GHG reporting. http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/ghg/facility_e.cfm. Cited 14 Sep 2008
  13. Environment Canada (2008b) Priority substances list 1. http://www.ec.gc.ca/ceparegistry/subs_list/PSL1.cfm. Cited 14 Sept 2008
  14. Fickling M (2009) US and Canadian climate legislation by state and province. Peterson Institute for International Economics http://www.iie.com/publications/papers/paper.cfm?ResearchID=1057. Cited 4 Mar 2010
  15. Goldman B, Fitton L (1994) Toxic wastes and race revisited: an update Of 1987 report on the racial and socioeconomic characteristics of communities with hazardous waste sites. United Church of Christ, Center for Policy AlternativesGoogle Scholar
  16. Government of Canada (2002) Climate change plan for Canada. ISBN En56-183/2002E. http://www.climatechange.gc.ca. Cited 1 Mar 2007
  17. Government of Canada (2005) Project green: moving forward on climate change: a plan for honouring our Kyoto commitmentGoogle Scholar
  18. Hamilton J (1995) Pollution as news: media and stock market reactions to the toxics releases data. J Environ Econ Manage 28(1): 98–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hamilton J (2005) Regulation through revelation: the origin, politics, and impacts of the toxics release inventory program. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harrison K, Antweiler W (2003) Incentives for pollution abatement: regulation, regulatory threats and non-governmental pressures. J Policy Anal Manage 22(3): 361–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Harrison K, Antweiler W (2007) Canada’s voluntary ARET program: limited success despite industry cosponsorship. J Policy Anal Manage 26(4): 755–773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hornung R (1999) The VCR doesn’t Work. In: Gibson R (ed) Voluntary initiatives: the new politics of corporate greening. Broadview PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Khanna M, Brouhle K (2009) The effectiveness of voluntary environmental initiatives. In: Delmas M, Young O (eds) Governance for the environment. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  24. Khanna M, Damon L (1999) EPA’s voluntary 33/50 program: impact on toxic releases and economic performance of firms. J Environ Econ Manage 37(1): 1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Khanna M, Quimio W, Bojilova D (1998) Toxics release information: a policy tool for environmental protection. J Environ Econ Manage 36(3): 243–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Khanna M, Ramirez D (2004) Effectiveness of voluntary approaches: implications for climate change mitigation. In: Baranzini A, Thalmann P (eds) Voluntary approaches in climate policy. Edward Elgar Publishers, NorthamptonGoogle Scholar
  27. Laplante B, Lanoie P (1994) The market response to environmental incidents in Canada: a theoretical and empirical analysis. South Econ J 60(3): 657–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lyon T, Kim E-H (2007) Greenhouse gas reductions or greenwash? The DOE’s 1605b program? SSRN working paper no. 981730. MichiganGoogle Scholar
  29. Morgenstern R, Pizer W, Shih J (2007) Evaluating voluntary U.S. climate programs: the case of climate wise. In: Morgenstern R, Pizer W (eds) Reality check: the nature and performance of voluntary environmental programs in the United States, Europe, and Japan. RFF Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  30. Murphy R, Jaccard M (2003) The voluntary approach to GHG reduction: a case study of BC hydro. Energy Stud Rev 11(2): 131–151Google Scholar
  31. OECD: (1996) Main economic indicators, sources and definitions. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  32. Stilborn J (2003) Canadian intergovernmental relations and the Kyoto protocol: what happened, what didn’t? Paper presented at CPSA conference Challenges to Canadian Federalism, 30 May 2003Google Scholar
  33. Takahashi T, Nakamura M, van Kooten G, Vertinsky G (2001) Rising to the Kyoto challenge: is the response of Canadian industry adequate?.  J Environ Manage 63: 149–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tietenberg T (1998) Disclosure strategies for pollution control. Environ Resour Econ 11(3–4): 587–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. US Environmental Protection Agency (2003) How are the toxics release inventory data used? Government, business, academic and citizen uses. Toxics Release Inventory Program Division, Office of Environmental Information, Office of Information Analysis and Access, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  36. Valiente M (2002) Legal foundations of Canadian environmental policy: underlining our values in a shifting landscape. In: VanNijnatten D, Boardman R (eds) Canadian environmental policy: context and cases. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  37. Voluntary Climate and Challenge Registry (2007) http://www.ghgregistries.ca/challenge/index_e.cfm. Cited 1 Aug 2007
  38. Videras J, Alberini A (2000) The appeal of voluntary environmental programs: which firms participate and why?.  Contemp Econ Policy 18(4): 449–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Welch E, Mazur A, Bretschneider S (2000) Voluntary behavior by electric utilities: levels of adoption and contribution of the climate challenge program to the reduction of carbon dioxide. J Policy Anal Manage 19(3): 407–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wooldridge J (1997) Multiplicative panel data models without the strict exogeneity assumption. Econom Theory 13: 667–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wooldridge J (2001) Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  42. Wooldridge J (2005) Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity. J Appl Econ 20(1): 39–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wu J, Babcock B (1999) The relative efficiency of voluntary vs mandatory environmental regulations. J Environ Econ Manage 38(2): 158–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGrinnell CollegeGrinnellUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations