Rethinking personal carbon trading (PCT) mechanism: A comprehensive review

J Environ Manage. 2023 Oct 15:344:118478. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118478. Epub 2023 Jun 30.


The implementation of Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) holds promise in facilitating a noteworthy contribution towards the attainment of emissions reduction predicated on consumption patterns and consequently motivating lifestyle modifications. As individual consumption behaviors usually lead to continuous changes in carbon emissions, it is crucial to rethink PCT from a systematic perspective. This review employed a bibliometric analysis of 1423 papers related to PCT, highlighting the key themes of carbon emissions from energy consumption, climate change, and public opinion on policies in the context of PCT. Most of the existing PCT researches focus on theoretical assumptions and public attitudes, while the quantification of carbon emissions and simulation of PCT require further investigation. Furthermore, the concept of Tan Pu Hui is seldom addressed in PCT studies and case analyses. Moreover, there are limited PCT schemes worldwide that can be directly implemented in practice, leading to a scarcity of large-scale, high-participation case studies. To address these gaps, this review proposes a framework to clarify how PCT can stimulate individual emission reductions on the consumption side, comprising two phases, from motivation to behavior and behavior to target. Future endeavors should prioritize the enhancement of the systematic study of the theoretical foundation of PCT, encompassing carbon emissions accounting and policy design, the incorporation of cutting-edge technology, and the reinforcement of integrated policy practice. This review serves as a valuable reference for future research endeavors and policymaking efforts.

Keywords: Carbon emissions accounting; Implementation; Personal carbon trading; Policy design; Tan Pu Hui.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Carbon*
  • China
  • Climate Change
  • Computer Simulation
  • Policy Making*


  • Carbon
  • Carbon Dioxide