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Anne Finucane

We Need a Carbon Market to Boost Green Energy Startups

Awarding carbon credits for investment would unleash billions of corporate dollars to speed development of new technologies for a cleaner world.

The transition to clean energy can move faster.

The transition to clean energy can move faster.

Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

We are arriving at the juncture of crisis and opportunity in building our energy future. The war in Ukraine is underscoring the world's need for alternatives to oil and natural gas; scientists are telling us climate change will be worse than we had feared, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is calling for more corporate disclosure on carbon emissions. The prospect of additional legislation on climate spending is uncertain at best. To make any meaningful change, the business community needs to apply market-based solutions to an accelerating problem.

Thousands of companies have committed in the last year alone to reducing their carbon footprint by buying their electricity from renewable sources, installing solar and wind power where possible, and reducing water and resource usage. But to reach their ultimate target of net-zero emissions they often need to supplement those efforts by purchasing "carbon offsets."