Lahti, the Finnish city north of Helsinki, has introduced a new carbon trading app to incentivise the use of active travel and public transport with mobility credits.
The CitiCAP app has been tested for the last 12 months, but has now gone into a wider research phase with the public until the end of 2020.
In carbon trading, a cap level has been created for emissions, and going below it earns users virtual money.
The more sustainable forms of mobility that are used, the more can be earned. The money can be used as mobility credits for things like bus tickets.
Lahti is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% within the next 10 years.
Anna Huttunen, Lahti sustainable mobility project manager, said: "Many people have learned new routines this spring, and this change can also be tracked and explored with the help of the CitiCAP application.
“If walking and cycling are used to replace driving, the application rewards the user with virtual euros. So carbon trading rewards you when emissions from mobility are low.”
The aim of studying personal carbon trading is to monitor how the mobility and mobility choices of Lahti residents change in different situations.
Ville Uusitalo, Assistant Professor from the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, said: “The amount of virtual euros earned from saved emission allowances will change during the study, and we want to see how this affects mobility decisions.”
Using the carbon trading application and participating in the experiment is voluntary, but Lahti is urging as many people as possible to try and use the application in order to obtain the most comprehensive data possible for the research.
During the research phase, surveys and interviews will be used to gather feedback and ideas about what is good and what is bad about personal carbon trading as well as how the system or its fairness could be further improved.
Lahti is the first city in the world where citizens' personal carbon trading is being studied.