Matthew Kahn at UCLA lists his research addressing why voters and politicians in low-energy cost / high-carbon emitting areas oppose GHG reduction policies. He shows how protecting the status quo is in their interests, including for lower-income suburban dwellers. Proponents of climate change policies should consider how to compensate the range of “losers” from adopting these policies. Using carbon tax revenues to offset other taxes or as income-based rebates is one type of solution. I’ve pointed out previously that ignoring the need to compensate those who have reduced welfare from a policy choice both improves economic efficiency and reduces political opposition.
EDF and UCLA have created an interesting visual presentation on the potential for solar power and energy savings in the LA county, overlaid with socio-economic characteristics. (But I have some trouble with the representation of a few West LA communities as disadvantaged with high health risk–is that the UCLA campus?