Cost Benefit Analysis

Cost Benefit Analysis is a financial method of evaluating the feasibility of a project or program by systematically summing its benefits and deducting its costs. It represents an advance over traditional forms of valuation in that it includes opportunity costs, cost of externalities and costs of intangible assets. It is used in private projects as […]

Cap and Trade

Cap and Trade is a market based policy tool, which sets a cap on the amount of emissions from a group of sources with the end goal of reducing the overall pollution in a nation, region, or industry. The intention is to incentivize a reduction in emissions and penalize those who don’t comply. Participants in […]

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a carbon trading system, defined in article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, with the objective to cut green house gas emissions. To achieve their emission-cutting obligations, developed countries invest in the installation of green technology in developing countries in return for carbon credits. In this system, developed nations can meet […]

Carbon Footprint

The total amount of greenhouse gases emitted directly and indirectly to support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of either carbon or carbon dioxide. Carbon footprints are calculated by countries as part of their reporting requirements under the Kyoto Protocol, as well as by companies, regions, or individuals. Direct greenhouse gas emissions can include […]

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)

A new energy management model developing in California. Community Choice Aggregation permits any city, county, or joint powers authority to aggregate the electrical loads of residents, businesses, and municipal facilities for electricity purchases. An “opt-out” provision allows constituents to elect not to participate in Community Choice and to continue having their current utility provide their […]

Clarkson Principles

Developed by the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics under the leadership of Max Clarkson, these principles represent an early stage general awareness of corporate governance concerns that have been widely discussed in connection with the business scandals of 2002. In many ways, the Clarkson Principles are “meta-principles” that encourage management to embrace specific stakeholder principles […]

Collective Intelligence

Defined by George Pór, in The Quest for Collective Intelligence (1995), as the capacity of a human community to evolve toward higher order complexity thought, problem-solving and integration through collaboration and innovation. James Surowiecki, in The Wisdom of Crowds, says “The more influence a group’s members exert on each other, and the more personal contact […]


Cogeneration is the simultaneous production of electrical and thermal energy from the same fuel source. For example, surplus heat from an electric generating plant can be used for industrial processes, or space and water heating purposes. Or, waste heat from an industrial process can be used to power an electric generator.

Clear Cutting

A process where all trees in a selected area are felled in a logging operation. Although some areas may be planted, seeded or naturally regenerated, the effect on the environment can be extremely destructive. The act of clear cutting is not only damaging to the structure and function of the forest, but in particularly erosion-prone […]

Cheater Capitalism

A term coined by Randy Hayes to describe the ability for companies to exploit economic policies that insufficiently attribute externalities. As long as these external costs are not addressed by business, the economy will, ultimately, be unsustainable.