In addition to Redgrid plans, and proposals that I’ve made like commoning energy assets, another idea that can help to address climate change is to have an app and mutual credit currency that incentivises future, current and past greenhouse gas emissions reductions, by:
- increasing the credit limit for owners of assets and services that absorb emissions from the atmosphere, in proportion to how much emissions they’ve removed; and
- requiring emitters to debit themselves X amount per kg of CO2 equivalent that they emit, while having a debt limit; and with the same amount, crediting this amount to providers that provide the same or an alternative service, but without the emissions or absorbing the same amount. For instance, fossil fuel generators are loaned CarbonCurrency (I’ll dub the proposed currency that) for each tonne of CO2-e that they emit. Now, a renewable energy generator or emissions reducer can be credited when an emitter is debited. To be credited, a zero emissions generator must produce the same amount of energy (measured e.g in kWh) that the emitter produces for each tonne of CO2-e emitted. For a greenhouse gas absorber, to be credited the same amount, they must absorb a tonne of CO2-e. This mutual credit and debiting can be arranged bilaterally in a carbon marketplace.
Note that for emitters, their efficiency of MWh produced for each tonne of CO2-e emitted, affects them. If efficiency is lower (less energy produced per kg of CO2-e, or conversely, more emissions for the same amount of energy of from a cleaner generator), then they have to buy more CarbonCurrency up to their debt limit, while not being able to generate as much electricity that they can then sell to consumers. In short, this makes it less economical for emitters.
Note that for emitters other than fossil fuel electricity generators, like cement manufacturers or cattle owners, the unit of product/service changes from kWh of electricity to some other widget, like kg of cement, or kg of meat, dairy, or leather.
Debt limits could be set according to a global cap on CO2-equiv. emissions. This is thus similar to a cap and trade scheme, where the requirement could be voluntary to start with (there are big fossil fuel companies like Shell that are transitioning to clean renewable energy and storage and that have advocated for better legislation on climate change), and made mandatory by cooperation with governments, or independently with sovereign accountable commoning.