We have been offering options on how to spend, while visiting Costa Rica, in ways that benefit the environment here. Small potatoes, but it is what we do.
Much more important for the planet as a whole, and for all humanity inhabiting it, is spending, or rather investing, that can have truly global impact. Robinson Meyer, a staff writer at The Atlantic, and author of the newsletter The Weekly Planet, has this useful guide for citizens of the USA:
A New Estimate of the ‘Most Effective’ Way to Fight Climate Change
Climate-concerned donors should focus on helping to pass climate policy, not offset their emissions, an advisory group says.
On a dollar-for-dollar basis, where will your money do the most to fight climate change?
The economist Daniel Stein has a clear answer: You should give to groups that lobby for aggressive climate policies. And if you’re an American, he has three such groups in mind: the Evergreen Collaborative, Carbon180, and the Clean Air Task Force.
“If you’re like Joe Schmo, and you’re looking to do something for climate, I think you should give to policy,” Stein told me. “We think it’s something like 10 times more effective to give to policy than to give to one of these projects that are directly doing emissions reductions.”
A year ago, I profiled Giving Green, a new organization that applies the principles of effective altruism to fighting climate change. It tries to answer one of the most common questions I get as a reporter—“Where should I give my money to fight climate change?”—but with some degree of quantitative rigor.
Its list of recommendations has changed slightly since last year. Gone from the list is the Sunrise Movement, which Stein lauded—“I really do believe that the existence of Sunrise has led, at least to a certain extent, to major climate bills being passed in the Biden administration,”—but which is going through an internal restructuring and has yet to publish a strategy for the next few years. (It also needs individual donations less than it did, Stein said, because it has secured more institutional support.)
In its place are Carbon180, which advocates for policy to accelerate direct carbon removal, and the Evergreen Collaborative, a policy shop composed of veterans of Jay Inslee’s climate-focused presidential campaign. Evergreen “has very quickly become very influential, in terms of figuring out how to take the broader ideas of the progressive climate movement and turn [them] into actual laws that can be passed,” Stein said.
And Giving Green has continued recommending the Clean Air Task Force, which works with politicians from both parties to deploy technologies, such as carbon removal and even carbon capture and storage, that will ultimately be necessary in a zero-carbon world.
Read the whole newsletter here.