Leveraging the Coronavirus Carbon Dividend

By: Patty L. Buchanan

In the face of unprecedented challenges, let us join together in seeing unprecedented opportunities for better living. When we overcome the virus situation, we will still be facing an environmental crisis. We learn daily from the news about the interconnectedness of dramatic carbon emission reductions during social distancing and the concomitant economic slowdown. At the same time, health studies reveal that people who have had greater exposure to air pollution are more vulnerable to the coronavirus pathogen. Our challenge ahead is to rebuild social connectedness, spur economic expansion and restore our environment with its natural abundant supply of healthy air.

The social distancing that has been required to arrest the spread of the coronavirus has brought an abrupt economic slowdown. As a substantial portion of the population can no longer leave home for work, travel for business and pleasure, attend social gatherings, participate in entertainment events, and dine outside their homes, businesses across these sectors and their extended supply webs have ground to a halt. The evidence is stark: the energy systems that fuel much of these economic activities cause perilous global warming and also increase health hazards — creating vulnerable population clusters— by exposing some people to higher rates of particulate air pollution. The coronavirus crisis begs us to consider whether we can decouple carbon emissions from economic activity.

Opportunities to participate in a decarbonizing economy have never been better. Please consult this blog in times ahead to learn about ways to propel an economic rebound with less carbon emissions. We’ll be informing you in more detail on our website about Croton100 campaigns and tips for what you can do to participate in economic activity, reduce carbon emissions, save money and improve health. Spoiler alert: we’ll be profiling ideas that are embedded in our groundbreaking Carbon Tracker and form our strategic operations and campaigns. Croton100’s decarbonizing step-downs offer a great business deal for the biosphere, our economy, and will also reduce health risks.

When you are ready to get back to flying for business and pleasure, you can participate in carbon-offsets that we can help you to understand as just one part of Croton100’s Operation Low Hanging Fruit. This Operation has an array of ideas.

For example, if you are a renter or a homeowner who cannot install solar panels, you can still save money and participate in greening the grid by participating in Community Solar. If your home uses oil, you can reduce your carbon emissions by using 20% biofuel (“B20”) in your furnace. If you participate in a NYSERDA-sponsored free energy audit of your home, you will receive free advice about ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Home improvements create healthy economic activity. Remember, if you save energy, you save money. If you reduce carbon emissions, you reduce pollution that causes respiratory and cardiac health complications. If you reduce your use of carbon-based fuels like oil and gas, you are a better partner with the biosphere.

If you are a business owner, you may have an opportunity to save money by switching your electricity source to renewable energy by participating in Croton100’s Operation EL-9 which seeks to bring green energy to large commercial customers.

If you live outside the Village of Croton and in zip code 10520, you may soon be able to benefit from automatic enrollment in renewable energy sourced electricity supported by Croton100’s Operation Thunderbolt.

If you operate a business, public or municipal facility in Croton, your participation in Operation Zip Code Overhead will improve your energy stance, save you money and contribute to local well-being.

Have you have been shopping for, and planning, more home-cooked meals than ever before? You may have noticed that you have been relying on plant-based recipes, which have a lower carbon footprint than meat and fish-based dishes. Stocking your pantry with bulk purchases of plant-based food has probably saved you money and reduced carbon emissions in the entire food supply chain. You may have found that with abounding fear, you waste less food by carefully planning your meals.  Less food waste reduces carbon emissions throughout the chain from farm to kitchen to disposal. When the times and our budgets permit us to get back to dining in our local restaurants, remember how well your pantry filled with plant-based nutrition served you. Consider leveraging all that you have learned about food by the circumstances the coronavirus has brought to your kitchen.

If you are concerned about your own assets in the fallen financial markets, this is an excellent opportunity to review your portfolio, remove volatile fossil fuel investments, and shift to more secure renewable energy assets and in general to the safety of investments with high ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) scores.

Best of all, Croton100 is offering free virtual meetings with carbon experts through Operation Office Hours, where we will walk you through our Carbon Tracker app to help you understand your own carbon emissions.

We will then guide you in a plan for your carbon step-downs that will meet your budget and improve your relationship with the biosphere. By doing so, you can be part of Operation Matrix Multiplier which seeks to achieve a cascading effect of more residents participating in more decarbonization activities.

Meet us, join us. We’ll guide you in understanding Croton100’s offerings that will help you leverage coronavirus carbon reduction lessons into a future with economic expansion.

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