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Zero Carbon

Idea, a simple web site where you can put in your choices and see how things might play out.

Choices in, risk of catastophe out.

Some model answers:

Choices ZC2030 ZC2040 ZC2050
When should we adopt a plant based diet? Immediately and with price pressure Yes, in the next 10 years Yes, in next 20 years
When should we switch to electric cars? A forced switch in 2024 At next purchase All new cars after 2025 electic
How much flying? Only for emegencies One European trip/year One long haul flight/year
As a wealthy nation, should we lead? Yes Maybe No
Outcomes ZC2030 ZC2040 ZC2050
Risk of catastophe

We assume a linear decrease in emissions from 2020 to the end date. A slightly faster start and slower end is more realistic, but ill defined and the differences are only small. The simple linear decrease allows for much easier comparison with the work of others and therefore faster learning.


ONS has detailed expenditure by category and income decile.

For each category we can model an income elasticity of demand.

Each category can be given a carbon footprint and the assocoated carbon tax calculated. Use the low deciles to compute the universal income needed for no change.


  • One shot Linear:
    • Model everything as linear, including new carbon tax
    • Find the new income (original income minus carbon tax plus universal), use those values from the linear model
    • Asuumes that no change of behaviour - just reverting to past spending before recent pay increases
  • Multistep:
    • Compute the income elasticity of demand
    • Treat a small increase in carbon tax as a reduciton in income and use income elasticity to change demand
    • repeat until target income is reached
  • Once shot Equilibrium
    • Compute the income elasticity of demand

One shot seems much cleaner.

Things break when:

  • Electric heating is cheaper than gas

use Income elasticity of demand - mmeasure as a quadratic, guess minima, repeat.

– old below –

Question: How to estimate the elasticity of the first two? Answer - assume elasticity of 1 - if price goes up by a factor of x then consumption goes down by x (e.g. 3x higher price, 1/3 consumption). Make this a varaible so can get zeroth level and first level from same spreadsheet.

Some stuff costs the same money however much you spend - e.g. milk, butter, margerine, electricity - the basics. With increasing wealth you don't consume more or buy more expensive versions. Some suff is the opposite, e.g. wine, with increasing wealthy you spend more (whether it's more expensive or consume more we don't know). But we can't tell if an item is optional or necessity. Can fit a (second order) polynomial to amount spent on an item vs the income. Then do gradient descent. So if all basics prices go up then assume people will buy roughly the same amount even though it costs more. But if can save on luxuries (say wine) then will do so.

Internet stuff


  • - passwd zeroCO2e


  • user: zerocarbonplan


private/zero_carbon.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/18 10:55 by admin