Amid mounting evidence that climate change threatens current and future generations, Climate Vault, a nonprofit founded at the University of Chicago by a team led by economist Michael Greenstone, today unveiled a new solution for carbon reduction using government-regulated markets.
Climate Vault’s innovative solution will shorten the timeline for individuals and organizations seeking to reduce their emissions. Its mission is to significantly reduce carbon dioxide, one of the leading causes of climate change, while supporting the innovation in carbon removal technologies designed to eliminate historical CO2.
Climate Vault’s approach leverages the power of government-regulated compliance markets by purchasing and “vaulting” carbon permits, preventing polluters from using them. In addition, Climate Vault will help create the world’s first ecosystem for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies by providing grants that spur innovation in those technologies to help make them viable and cost effective—encouraging a renewed commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.
“Our response to the climate challenge will define our generation,” said Greenstone, co-founder of Climate Vault and the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. “Climate Vault provides a unique way for supporters, both individuals and organizations, to get the biggest carbon reduction per dollar—whether it be through matching their own footprint or truly making their investment portfolios ESG-forward. And in so doing, supporters can jumpstart the innovation that our children and the planet need. It is very much part of the University of Chicago’s long tradition of developing ideas that help to solve real-world social problems.”
Greenstone previously served as the chief economist for President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he co-led the development of the United States government’s social cost of carbon.
“UChicago recently increased its greenhouse gas reduction goals for the current decade, focused on areas where we can demonstrate a positive financial return on investment, while simultaneously reducing our campus emissions,” said Ivan Samstein, vice president and chief financial officer at the University of Chicago. “Climate Vault will help us create a low cost off-campus benchmark to evaluate initiatives that may further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and is an important piece of our overall emission reduction efforts. We are proud to partner with Climate Vault as a means within our broader portfolio to continue our efforts to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.”
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