January 1, 2013

A local approach to a global problem

While I had a quiet December for blogging, Stuart Staniford was posting all kinds of great stuff. While much of his work focuses on global energy challenges and related topics, he connected it to local options with a look at the Finger Lakes Climate Fund:

For that reason, when I heard about the Finger Lakes Climate Fund, which promises to offset emissions with local projects in my own region I was very attracted to the idea. Because the projects are local, and I understand my area, I felt it was likely that I'd be able to assess the quality of the offsets. The main concern is what is called additionality: are the projects things that genuinely wouldn't have happened if you hadn't ponied up your cash?

...The ongoing process involves working with the local energy efficiency contractors to identify "stuck" energy retrofit projects that are unable to proceed due to lack of sufficient funds and then making a grant that will "unstick" them. Essentially, whenever they assemble a large enough balance of funds, the Climate Fund reaches out to all the local energy efficiency contractors and canvasses them for suitable projects. So far (they've only done a handful of projects to date) they tend to get about one submission of a suitable project which can then be helped by the offset grant.

...At any rate, I think local carbon offsets are a fine idea and the Finger Lakes fund is on the up-and-up and should be supported. I think it's also an interesting idea that other cities may want to take a look at. It's very early stage and probably a lot more exploration needs to happen of what other kinds of projects might be funded and how best to manage the process, but it seems like fertile terrain to explore.

He's made it part of his own household's efforts to go carbon neutral, and I'm now looking into taking the same path.

For more, here's their site.

Posted by simon at January 1, 2013 7:05 AM in
Note on photos