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Advancing Carbon Pricing at your Institution

an AASHE Pre-Conference workshop session

Carbon pricing is a fair, feasible, and powerful solution to accelerate a transition to a clean energy economy. With a growing number of carbon pricing policies around the world and building momentum in the US, higher education has an opportunity to advance an important national dialog. The workshop will explore how schools can engage with carbon pricing: internal carbon fees on departments; proxy carbon prices for capital decision making; direct endorsement of legislative solutions; and student and community engagement in carbon pricing work. The first half of the workshop will provide background on the theory and economics of carbon pricing, and will explore case studies. The second half will focus on workshopping ways participants can engage their institutions in carbon pricing work. Internal carbon pricing models provide a framework for integrating climate in cost benefit analysis, financing for sustainability work, and can create a platform for engaging the campus community on climate solutions. We will share models of both internal prices levied on departments and offices within a school, and proxy pricing tools that are used in cost/benefit analysis in institutional decision making. As thought leaders, higher education institutions have a responsibility to bring attention to strategic, effective solutions to challenging problems. The Put A Price On It campaign is circulating a letter endorsing state and national action on carbon pricing that college and university presidents are signing. As a group, we will discuss the importance of this effort, and will work through the challenges institutional leaders may face in signing it. Finally, higher education works to educate and prepare our students and communities to engage with and solve big problems. We’ll share strategies for educating and engaging the campus about climate policy, and empowering students to take action in their communities to advance climate solutions on the national stage.

Presenters: Nathaniel Graf and Aurora Winslade, Swarthmore College; Casey Pickett, Yale University; Alex Barron, Smith College