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Professor Aseem Prakash on Forbes: "Eras Forests Could Offset Taylor Swift’s Carbon Footprint"

Submitted by Albert Sub Yun on February 26, 2024 - 9:16am

Professor Aseem Prakash and Professor Nives Dolšak write about the recent controversy about Taylor Swift's carbon footprint, and how she could use her fame to help offset it.

"How might Swift leverage her fame to popularize the norm of climate responsibility? Ironically, her carbon footprint controversy might give her this opportunity.

Swift offsets her carbon emissions by buying carbon credits. However, offsets face criticism on moral and practical grounds. The moral objection is that offsets are like 'letters of indulgence,' which give the rich a right to pollute while continuing with their existing carbon-intensive lifestyles.

We suggest the carbon footprint issue, ironically, could allow her to become a climate influencer. Swift buys carbon credits to offset her emissions. We suggest that instead of buying offsets, her organization, in consultation with local government and NGOs and using the best available science, creates Eras forests in every city she performs and locates them in poor neighborhoods that tend to suffer disproportionately from the 'heat island effect.'To address concerns about greenwashing, she should allow the public to monitor these forests 24/7 through a direct feed to her website. Every year, she could put out a status report (akin to corporate social responsibility reports) on how much carbon her forests have sequestered."

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