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Published on October 24th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

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How You Can End Climate Change by Buying Pollution Permits on the Cap and Trade Market

October 24th, 2009 by  


Here’s a revolutionary plan from Sandbag that enables you and me to end carbon emissions by simply buying up and destroying European pollution permits by retiring them off the market, at $40 per permit or ton of CO2.

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Sandbag buys up carbon credits from those who have already made energy efficiency  investments and as a result have cut their pollution to below their previous level. We buy these clean companies’ credits through Sandbag, and then destroy them so dirty companies can’t buy them.


Under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in Europe set up to meet Kyoto goals, big carbon pollution plants must buy permits to emit carbon dioxide, up to a limit or “cap”.

The Europeans set up their plan so that individuals could also buy these and trade them also. Americans can buy them too, through Sandbag.

When we buy these, this gets the permits out of the “trade” market; which has the effect of further tightening the “cap” or limit on emissions. The more of us buy permits, the more expensive it becomes to pollute and then cleaner ways of doing things will receive more investment.

Once polluting companies cannot buy more permits to pollute, they are forced to invest in making their operation less polluting.  They can add renewable energy or efficiency measures.

Although these cap and trade rules affect mostly the largest polluters; oil and coal businesses, to a lessor extent they also push lessor polluters like cement companies and paper mills towards energy efficiency measures.

Under the energy legislation in the Senate now, the Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act or CEJAPA pollution reduction investment will be incentivized by the same “capping” of emissions and “trading” of permits as in Europe.

Image: Steve Jurvetson

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



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