Making Good Climate Policy Profitable
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Reality deniers are hard at work, with $100s of millions supporting them, arguing that doing something about global warming would be disastrous for the economy. Let us be clear: THIS IS FALSE! Smart climate policy will, even within traditional economic definitions, pay off for the economy. But, in fact, there are a multitude of payoffs here:
As for the last, let’s take two great examples from the Sightline Institute that each highlight the payoff potential, along with innovative thoughts on how to accelerate and improve the payoffs.
Riding Herd on Refrigerators: “Financing free fridges for fairness.”
Refrigerators are a great poster child for energy efficiency and the value of standards. Average annual power use for refrigerators has fallen roughly by two-thirds over the past 20 years, meaning new refrigerators use about 1000 kilowatt hours less per year. For every 10 old refrigerators replaced, that is about the equivalent of taking a house off the grid. Hmmm … not bad.
But, this bumps into the classic upfront capital versus long-term savings from efficiency challenge. One that is difficult for those lower on the economic spectrum to deal with and one counter to how our culture considers economic payoffs (individuals in their own lives), as we discount future savings too heavily.