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Swarthmore's Carbon Charge Program


Aurora Winslade

on 4 April 2017

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Transcript of Swarthmore's Carbon Charge Program

Carbon Pricing at Swarthmore College
That revenue is used for projects to reduce emissions and educate our community.
Students, faculty, staff
Campus & local community
Facilities, Engineering, Sustainability, Finance
Fossil fuels must stay in the ground.
Swarthmore President Valerie Smith worked with four other college presidents to extend invitations to over 100 of their peers to join in endorsing a carbon price.
SWARTHMORE'S National carbon
pricing advocacy
Carbon Charge
Sharing our model
Pricing carbon is a proven solution for making clean energy competitive and ensuring that the full costs of carbon emissions are reflected in the market.

pricing carbon

Higher education can help build the political will to inspire our elected leaders to act.
Over 80% of our world's fossil fuel reserves must be left unburned to keep the world at less than 2 degrees of warming.
Levy a fee on extraction and import of fossil fuels.

Two Part Strategy:
A carbon price would reduce emissions and stimulate the economy.
Swarthmore and other organizations are
collaborating to provide students with
opportunities to learn how to bring this message to their elected leaders.

We're working to add higher education to the chorus of voices calling for a national carbon price.
Swarthmore is working with multiple organizations to mobilize for a national carbon price

President's Sustainability Research Fellow
Associate Director of Donor Relations
Professor of English and Environmental Studies
Assistant Vice President of Finance and Controller
Director of Sustainability
Director of Maintenance
Climate Action Senior Fellow
Professor of Economics
Professor of Religion
The Carbon Charge Committee
Education & Behavior Change
Emissions Reductions
Swarthmore works closely with Yale University and Vassar College to help other schools implement carbon pricing.

Swarthmore collaborated with the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium to host a day-long seminar on with 40 attendees from 15 institutions.
North East Campus Sustainability Consortium
AASHE panel & networking session
Citizen's Climate Lobby National & Mid-Atlantic Regional Conferences
Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium
Student Sustainability Leadership Symposium
Smart and Sustainable Campus Conference
Green Allies Conference
National Conference Calls
Swarthmore Alumni Events
Dickinson College class visit
League of Women Voters event
The Carbon Charge provides a platform for disucssions and learning about carbon pricing.

We've hosted events, presented in classes, and provided workshops to educate and engage the campus community.
Within the College, carbon pricing has been shared at...
Community lunches
Administrative Advisory Council
Staff Advisory Council
Board of Managers
Sustainability Committee
Eco Reps Training
Classes and Seminars
Public Events
If the revenue is distributed to individuals, lower income people come out ahead (they get more $ in their dividend than they see in increased prices).
The Carbon Charge Committee oversees education and GHG emission reduction projects. It is a space for collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement.
Projected emissions reductions based on Carbon Fee and Dividend as Proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby ($15/ton increasing by $10/year)
This solution has bipartisan support.
Sharing Carbon Pricing with over 1,000 people in many venues...
Energy Strategy for Sustainability/
Campus Master Utility Plan
Swarthmore's Carbon Pricing Initiative
The initial charge was 1.25% of each department's annual budget for a total of $300,000/year starting in 2016.

29 departments voluntarily contributed an additional $40,000 to the fund in 2017.
Committment to account for lifecycle GHG

emissions & lifecycle financial cos
in evaluating energy decisions.
Swarthmore adapted Harvard's LCCA calculator for use in RFPs for consultants on major projects, with assistance from Vassar College.
informs cost/benfit analysis in purchasing and construction
Carbon Charge => Carbon Fund
A geothermal system for a new building might cost more now, but the lower carbon emissions will mean it will have a lower life cycle cost once the shadow price is added.
"Shadow Price" on Carbon
In Feb 2016, Swarthmore Implemented an Internal Carbon Charge
Total cost =
(financial cost) + ((MTCDE) * (social cost/MTCDE))

Green Revolving Fund
$1 million Green Revolving Fund seeded by Carbon Charge to be used for $3 million in Energy Conservation Measures identified in the Energy Strategy
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