Thursday, December 09, 2004

Wharton Students Create a Program to Combat Global Warming

Social Capitalists at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School have created a product that finances alternative/clean energy projects. An innovative donation mechanism, TerraPass pools funds that make marginal alternative/clean energy projects feasible, thereby reducing carbon emissions. Distinguishing itself from typical donations to environmental advocacy groups, there is a direct and immediate nexus between the contribution and desired outcome.

1 comment:

DanielUA said...

Here is why I dont think trading environmental credits works: Pollution does not evenly disperse.

Sure, the world may say we only need x amount of carbon emissions, and we can argue about the "right" amount of pollutants, but lets assume there is a magic number out there. Then you can price the cost of polluting, figure out who can reduce the most cheaply, etc. And then, those who can reduce the easiest do, buying credits from those who find it more expensive, and voila, we are at our magic number of pollution.

But again, pollution does not evenly dispense. For example, if it is least cost efficient for the rust belt producers (who are currently raining down emissions on the Northeast) to stop producing Carbon emissions, then they will continue on producing them. And, as a result, the Northeast, including NY, PA, etc, gets dangerous air quality, despite an overall reduction in the world. So, if thousands of kids in the Northeast die due to poor air quality every year, they could very well see zero improvement.

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