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the carbon king March 13, 2008

Posted by AP in econ, environment.
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from the wsj:

The planet is getting warmer. Richard Sandor, a 66-year-old economist, is getting wealthier.

His company, London-based Climate Exchange PLC, has carved out a key role in Europe’s booming trade in “carbon permits” — essentially, buying and selling the right to pollute. Since 2005, the European Union has required major polluters to either cut the amount of carbon dioxide they spew, or buy pollution credits in the open market.

A big chunk of the action occurs on an exchange founded by Mr. Sandor, a one-time Berkeley professor who has morphed into a gregarious climate-change entrepreneur….

It’s an unusual mix of markets theory and environmentalism. “The right wing always suspects you of being a tree-hugging environmentalist and the left wing accuses you of being a money-grubbing capitalist,” says Mr. Sandor, who back in the 1990s developed a markets-based system to cut down on pollutants causing acid rain.

oveall, an interesting article. in addition to discussing the rare common ground between environmentalism and capitalism, it also provides a good summary of the debate between cap-and-trade and carbon tax systems. on sandor’s berkeley roots:

He first envisioned a carbon market long before many people had heard of global warming. In 1992 at the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, he presented an academic paper on how markets might be used to reduce carbon emissions.

Of the conference, Mr. Sandor recalls: “There was more tie-dye there than at a Grateful Dead concert. It felt like a movement.” Indeed, the event laid the groundwork for what eventually became the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

 

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