Clean air for sale

Investing in the environment
Can you put a price on the value of forests or wetlands? Adam Davis thinks you can, and that doing so will help save precious ecosystems.

The California businessman dreams of starting a Conservation Exchange that would allow people to trade in the beneficial natural processes that take place in undeveloped forests, wetlands and other areas. For example, a company seeking to make amends for its high emissions of CO2, a leading greenhouse gas, could buy a “carbon credit” from a forest owner whose trees absorb CO2. A company that is polluting streams might buy a credit from a landowner whose wetlands help purify water.


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