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Markets Magazine

Ex-Enron Trader Discovers Greed Is Good—for the Environment

Carbon markets create an unlikely alliance between speculators and the green movement.

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Carbon trader Ulf Ek strolls through Richmond Park in London with Dollar, a Maltese-Yorkie mix.

Carbon trader Ulf Ek strolls through Richmond Park in London with Dollar, a Maltese-Yorkie mix.

Photographer: David Vintiner for Bloomberg Markets

Anytime Ulf Ek needs to think, he goes for a walk in London’s Richmond Park with Dollar, a ­Maltese-Yorkie mix. The 2,500-acre expanse of fields, forest, and deer herds about 12 miles southwest of the financial district has long been a bucolic respite from urban life.

In the 17th century, King Charles I moved his court to a nearby palace to avoid the plague. For Ek it’s a break from the frenzy of the energy markets; he knows just how fraught that world can be, having lived through a price meltdown that cost him a fortune and made him nauseous.