Disruptive idea with potential to flip the climate change debate

I read about a very interesting concept the other day – the idea of it being cheaper for countries to pay other countries not to extract their fossil fuels in the ground instead of incurring expenses to lower their own emissions. The example given by Bård Harstad that awarded him the Erik Kempe prize was that the EU would pay Canada to not extract the Alberta tar sands oil.

If we take this concept further, we could imagine countries paying other countries not to produce cars or maybe providing them incentives to build public transport instead. According to a great recent Start the Week podcast, the number of cars in the world in the next decades as the emerging countries’ middle class comes of age, is just astounding and scary for the planet.

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