Green.org sat down with Gary Keir, founder and CEO of Carbon Xprint. Carbon Xprint allows emitters to take action for their emissions by making an investment based on their tons of CO2E emissions times the price of a ton of CO2E. Those investments are pooled together and dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
o learn grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and worked in the family roofing business. He did a stint as an environmental biologist. Gary moved into IT, project management, analysis, and programming. He has visited the front line of climate change in Alaska’s Arctic 16 times as a leader for backpacking and rafting trips. His solution to the problem of Climate Change is Carbon Xprint.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I started Carbon Xprint because I was looking for something that I could do about climate change and cover my responsibility. I can’t put solar collectors on my NYC apartment. I looked for what was really needed and how I could take responsibility for my footprint. Could I come up with something that is a positive feedback and not a penalty? One of the biggest challenges to solving climate change is money. Capital is needed to finance the infrastructure needed to transition to clean energy. Why not invest $40 for each ton of my carbon footprint in certified green bonds? These bonds create the renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage we need.
The bonds are certified by Climate Bonds Initiative or Green Bond Principles so I know they are doing what they are supposed to do. When the bond matures, I get my money back plus interest and I can reinvest. Like War Bonds during WWII not everyone could fight but they could put a portion of their savings to work building the tools needed to win the war. In the end they got their money back plus interest. It is a positive approach that anyone can do. I use this method for my retirement because stocks have a carbon footprint. This is also used by a NYC adventure company, Adventure Untamed, to balance the carbon footprint of gasoline and travel.
Why do you think sustainability is such an important topic today?
Climate change is the most important problem in the world today. It is already changing economies and ecosystems. If we surpass some known and unknown tipping points many of the world’s other problems will be amplified. Now is the time to act.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
The average person could invest $40 for each ton of their carbon footprint in certified green bonds. There are several carbon footprint calculators for daily activities as well as for investments such as mutual funds. There are also several mutual funds that invest only in certified green bonds. It takes a few minutes but we need to invest for retirement and diversify those investments anyway.
Gary, thank you for joining Green.org and sharing how Carbon Xprint is allowing people to make an investment based on their CO2E emissions