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Carbon Pricing Newsletter Archive and Resources

We're maintaining an archive of past weeks' newsletter PDFs along with citations and further reading on the addressed topics. 
If you'd like to receive the newsletter in your inbox every Wednesday, you can sign up here!

Issue 15

China's National Cap-and-Trade Program

Coverage of the national market launch can be found in the New York Times, Reuters, and the UN Climate Action Programme

For an extremely deep dive, you can check out Climate and Energy Policy Solutions for China, which includes the modeling suggesting a 27% emissions reduction from baseline. 

Image from a Mother Jones infographic on the pilot markets. 

Issue 14

President Smith's Endorsement

You can read President Smith's open letter in the Philadelphia Inquirer here, and Swarthmore's commitment to the We Are Still In declaration here

You can see the full text of the letter and the other signatory presidents here

The Years of Living Dangerously documentary series on the impacts of climate change produced this short video about Swarthmore's participation in the Put A Price On It endorsement. 

Issue 13

California-Ontario-Quebec Harmonized Cap and Trade Program:

The Environmental Defense Fund blog shares more information about the California-Quebec permit auctions in 2017. 

The Toronto Sun and the Bureau of National Affairs cover the news after the agreement was signed in September 2017. 

Enablon provides more details and resources about the structure of the three-way harmonization. 

Issue 12

Swarthmore's Energy Systems

Capital Planning and Project management has more information on construction and renovation project highlights on this web page

Maintenance shares details about Swarthmore's system on the Energy page, including annual campus energy use reports.  

Issue 11

The Climate Solutions Caucus

Citizen's Climate Lobby provides a description and membership list of the Caucus on this page, and published the full story of its founding

This May CCL press release covers some of the legislative actions by the Caucus. 

This July CCL press release discusses their role in blocking the amendment to remove the climate impact study. 

Climate Hawks Vote published this critique of the Caucus after many voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. 

Issue 10

You can learn more about the President's Sustainability Research Fellowship on the program web page

More about Serenity Soular is available on their website

Issue 9

The 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act

This Time article after the ACES Act passed the House outlines the negotiations and expected impacts of the bill. 

Mother Jones details the political situation a year later, when the Senate had given up on ACES and explored the first of several short-lived alternative climate bills. 

The full text and legislative summary of the bill is available on

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions provides some broader context in a brief history of US climate legislative efforts


The Emissions model graphic is from a World Resources Institute Study

The photograph of House Leaders after the vote is from Zimbio

Issue 8

New Jersey and Virginia (re)joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

​ with a local perspective on NJ's history and efforts to rejoin RGGI. 

Inside Climate News outlining climate action in New Jersey, Virginia, and other states. 

Utility Dive on Virginia's intent and process to join RGGI. 

You can learn about RGGI in Issue 7 below! 

Shadow Price at Princeton University

You can read Princeton's full 2010 sustainability report on their web page. 

You can learn about Swarthmore's energy use on the Facilities web page. 

Issue 7

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The RGGI website and this Vox Explainer provide further background on the program goals, structure, and impact. 

The auction proceeds report details the use of the revenue to advance sustainability in member states. 

​We have two recent pieces of good news from RGGI: New Jersey and Virginia may join the coalition, and last summer RGGI proposed a 30% reduction in its emissions cap


The Charge on Departments and Offices

The Carbon Charge web page provides further information on the levy on departments and offices. 

Check out this poster on the Peace and Conflict Studies additional contribution to the Carbon Charge and other sustainability initiatives. 

Issue 6

State Carbon Pricing

The map is taken from Climate XChange. You can learn more about the many state-level proposals and campaigns on their web page

You can find more information about the policy proposal from Renew Oregon
This article from The Oregonian provides details on the political landscape of the bill. 

Rhode Island

The EnergizeRI Coalition is the primary advocacy player for the legislation, and provides more information on their website about the proposed Economic & Climate Resilience Act
This article from EcoRI News provides details on the political landscape for the bill. 

GreenAllies Conference 2018

You can learn more about the GreenAllies program at their website. 

Issue 5

Swarthmore's Role in Global Decarbonization

This Daily Gazette op-ed by Chloe Klaus '19 articulates Swarthmore's positionally in the global policy challenge of tackling climate change. 

Massachusetts Carbon Fees

Climate XChange has comprehensive and accessible overviews of both MA bills, the full bill texts, and impact studies. 

This Washington Post report overviews several state-level efforts to pass carbon pricing legislation. 

This wbur radio segment describes more about the political landscape of the Massachusetts effort. 

The jobs impact figure is adapted from Analysis of a Carbon Fee or Tax as a Mechanism to Reduce GHG Emissions in Massachusetts (2014) by several economic, energy, and environment modeling consultants. 

Issue 4

The Carbon Charge Fund

You can learn more about the Carbon Charge Fund and the Green Revolving Loan Fund on their respective web pages. 

You can learn about the Athletics LED upgrade in this op-ed

Use of revenue from a national carbon price

You can learn more about global revenue use options in Chapter 5 of the Report of the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices.

You can learn about one popular proposal for "Fee and Dividend" from Citizens' Climate

The Institute for Applied Systems Analysis modeled the impact Citizens' Climate's proposal by income level, concluding that low-income people generally come out ahead. 

A variety of answers to the revenue question can be found at the state level: 

  • California's Cap-and-Trade program uses their auction proceeds for emissions reduction work, improving public and environmental health, and supporting clean energy. 
  • Carbon Washington spearheaded a ballot initiative in Washington state that would price carbon and cut other state taxes. 
  • Connecticut has introduced a bill that allocates 25% of revenue to climate resilience, efficiency, and clean energy; 30% to dividends to employers; and 40% to dividends to residents. 
  • You can learn about other state-level policy proposals at ClimateXChange

Polling data graphic was from Kotchen et al. in Environmental Research Letters, which you can read here

Issue 3

The Shadow Price

You can learn more about our shadow price on the web page
To use the price in practice, we're using a life cycle cost analysis calculator tool to compare net present values associated with different project options. You can download Swarthmore's calculator here.
You can review Swarthmore's detailed pilot proposal document here. 

The cost of carbon

The EPA and an interagency working group developed the widely-cited social cost of carbon figure for $40 per ton. You can read about their estimate here
Moore and Diaz in a paper in Nature developed an estimate that included climate impacts on economic growth rates to derive a cost of around $220 per ton. 
You can read about the many other damages left out of both of the above analyses in the report Omitted Damages: What's Missing From the Social Cost of Carbon

For further reading, check out Chapter 4 of the Report of the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices. (It's more accessible and engaging than it sounds!)
The Carbon Disclosure Project's Carbon Pricing Corridors report considers an industry insider opinions on the price necessary for a two-degree trajectory in the electric sector. 
The International Energy Agency's Perspectives for the Energy Transition Report includes modeled prices necessary for a 66% chance of a two-degree scenario in OECD countries and emerging economies. (See Table 2.1 on Page 54) 

Issue 2 

Swarthmore's emissions

In 2010, Swarthmore President Rebecca Chopp signed onto Second Nature's Carbon Commitment, pledging Swarthmore to meet carbon neutrality by 2035. 
You can read Swarthmore's first Climate Action Plan from 2012 to meet that commitment. 

The Carbon Bubble

The Carbon Tracker popularized the idea of the Carbon Bubble in their 2013 Unburnable Carbon Report
You can learn more about emissions in the United States from the EPA's 2015 Emissions Inventory

Issue 1 

The Carbon Charge Committee

The Swarthmore Ecosphere Governance Structure page provides more details on the roles and responsibilities of each of the constituent committees. 
The Carbon Charge Committee page also has an updated membership list and the Committee Charge document. 

Carbon pricing on the global stage

You can read more about the experiences of the Swarthmore delegations at the Conferences of the Parties at the blog site
You can learn about the status and new developments of national and subnational carbon pricing policies around the world at Carbon Pricing Watch 2017
You can learn about the history and context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on the UNFCCC timeline page