Last month, carbon market practitioners and observers gathered in San Francisco for the annual Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) conference. NACW began in California over a decade ago as a regional meet-up for the nascent community of practice working on voluntary carbon management initiatives. Now, in step with California’s climate leadership and the start of the second shift in North American policy attention from top-down federal efforts to bottom-up state/regional action, the conference’s relevance far exceeds Golden State’s borders. Notably, this year’s NACW convened just four months following the formal start of California’s long-awaited cap-and-trade program, the world’s second largest carbon market.
There is a small but growing literature that considers the challenge of climate change through the ethicist’s lens. So-called “climate ethics” addresses the ethical imperative for action on climate change. (See this short interview for a good introduction to the flavor of the discourse.) This discussion is important, but while the broad issue of climate change is analyzed at a macro-level, there is a separate litany of ethical questions relevant to those working on the ground to design and implement climate programs and policies.
Electrons flowing down a wire. How many times have you heard this description in discussions on how electric power grids functions? Our greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting framework for indirect emissions from purchased electricity (i.e., Scope 2) is built around this mental model — the idea that electrons in the electric grid are analogous to water or natural gas in a pipe where we just replace molecules with electrons. Indeed, it is hard to find a reference in our field on the topic of indirect emissions that does not lean on or allude to this description of the physics of electricity.
Well, in the spirit of earlier semantic alerts I’ve posted on misused terminology in GHG accounting (see previous entries on “real” and “counterfactual”), in this blog post I’m going to come after another esoteric GHG-related linguistic bubble with a pointy stick.
Last month we initiated a short survey of community members to gather information to support an operational planning exercise. As GHGMI sits at the crossroads of online education and climate change policy, the past few months have been particulary fast-moving. Society is, at once, waking to the potential for e-learning to transform educational delivery and separately facing the growing challenge of accumulated GHG emissions, now at 400ppm CO2 and growing.
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the survey. We received almost 300 responses. You can view the full results* by clicking here.
The Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI) is actively seeking a Program Assistant with primary responsibility for day-to-day operation of its Education Program. The ideal candidate will be technologically savvy, possess excellent personal skills, be very comfortable with taking initiative without close supervision, and be committed to making a difference on the issue of climate change. READ MORE.
GHGMI is working with a group of expert implementing organizations to develop low emission development capacity across 11 countries in south and southeast Asia. To learn more about this USAID-funded project see their newly launched website: http://lowemissionsasia.org/