Project activities have been supported by Vanderbilt Law School's Energy, Environment and Land Use Program, the Vanderbilt Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies, and the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and the Environment.
In a new book, Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change, Michael Vandenbergh and co-author Jonathan M. Gilligan, associate professor of earth and environmental science, make the case for how the private sector and businesses can fill the environmental gap.
“I’m not optimistic that it will solve the problem tomorrow,” Gilligan said. “I am optimistic that the private sector can make a difference. We can eliminate a billion tons of carbon emissions each year over the next decade. That would matter.”
Vandenbergh and Gilligan point to numerous ways private-sector companies can benefit by taking environmentally friendly actions. Reducing global warming can be profitable for companies, sometimes simply by lowering the electricity bill.
“We know that enormous amounts of money are being wasted on things like jet fuel in the aviation industry,” Vanderbergh said. “A recent study found that airlines don’t provide pilots with information about how to use fuel efficiently, so they are wasting hundreds of thousands of gallons.”
More efficient fuel usage would lower costs for an airline as well as lessen emissions, he said. Read more