Carbon Management In the Post-Cap-and-Trade Carbon Economy-Part II

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Forrest A DeGroff, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States
This is the second installment in our search for a comprehensive economic model to mitigate climate change due to anthropogenic activity.

Last year we presented how the unique features of our economic model measure changes in carbon flux due to anthropogenic activity, referred to as carbon quality or CQ, and how the model is used to value such changes in the climate system.

This year, our paper focuses on how carbon quality can be implemented to capture the effect of economic activity and international trade on the climate system, thus allowing us to calculate a Return on Climate System (RoCS) for all economic assets and activity.

The result is that the RoCS for each public and private economic activity and entity can be calculated by summing up the RoCS for each individual economic asset and activity in which an entity is engaged.

Such a macro-level scale is used to rank public and private entities including corporations, governments, and even entire nations, as well as human adaptation and carbon storage activities, providing status and trending insights to evaluate policies on both a micro- and macro-economic level.

With international trade, RoCS measures the embodied effects on climate change that will be needed to assess border fees to insure carbon parity on all imports and exports.

At the core of our vision is a comprehensive, ‘open-source’ construct of which our carbon quality metric is the first element.

One goal is to recognize each country’s endemic resources and infrastructure that affect their ability to manage carbon, while preventing spatial and temporal shifting of carbon emissions that reduce or reverse efforts to mitigate climate change.

The standards for calculating the RoCS can be promulgated as part of the Generally Accepted Accounted Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to ensure standard and consistent reporting.

The value of such insights on the climate system at all levels will be crucial to managing anthropogenic activity in order to minimize the effect on the climate system. Without the insights provided by a comprehensive, standardized and verifiable RoCS, managing anthropogenic activity will be elusive and difficult to achieve, at best.

Such a model may also be useful to manage the effect of anthropogenic activity on the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles.