Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2008

Information Disclosure and Climate: The Thinking Behind CARMA - Working Paper 132

David Wheeler

November 2007

Center for Global Development


Among climate scientists, there is no longer any serious debate about whether greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are altering the Earth's climate. There is also a broad consensus that controlling emissions will require carbon pricing via market-based instruments (charges or cap-and-trade). In this new working paper CGD senior fellow David Wheeler urges the international community to establish an institution mandated to collect, verify and publicly disclose information about emissions from all significant global carbon sources. This institution would:

In describing the role of public information disclosure in helping to address the challenge of climate change, the paper also sets for the underlying rationale for CGD's new Web site, Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA), a global database of with the estimated CO2 emissions of some 50,000 power plants worldwide, and of the the 4,000 power companies that own them.