Program will charge or reward buildings based on their carbon usage
Yale University is pioneering a first-of-its-kind carbon charge program that will tax its buildings based on their carbon emissions.
The program aims to combat climate change by monitoring the amount of electricity, chilled water, natural gas and steam consumption from its buildings and charge departments a fee if they use more than an established baseline amount, according to campus officials, who in announcing the program blamed climate change for “heat waves, floods, wildfires, crop decline, infectious diseases, violence and conflict.”
The program, which begins this month after “three years of study, discussion, and experimentation,” aims to impart “a financially impactful fee on carbon emissions,” according to campus leaders in a video.
Yale will utilize “historical energy data” to determine a baseline of carbon emissions. If, during that year, Yale’s carbon emissions increase by a certain amount, that new level of emissions will become the baseline for that year, the video states.
“If [a building] increases emissions by the same percentage as Yale did,” the video explains, “it will receive no charge.” A building that increases its emissions less than the university’s average, or else decreases them, “will receive money back.” A building the emissions of which increase more than the average, meanwhile, “will receive a charge.”
“This approach keeps the net amount that each unit is charged relatively small, while also, on the margin, giving everyone an incentive of nearly the full social cost of carbon,” said Casey Pickett, the director of the Carbon Charge initiative. more here