Seen as Test for U.S.;
One 'Surreal' Fall
The planet is getting warmer. Richard Sandor, a 66-year-old economist, is getting wealthier.
His company, London-based Climate Exchange PLC, has carved out a key role in Europe's booming trade in "carbon permits" -- essentially, buying and selling the right to pollute. Since 2005, the European Union has required major polluters to either cut the amount of carbon dioxide they spew, or buy pollution credits in the open market.
A big chunk of the action occurs on an exchange founded by Mr. Sandor, a one-time Berkeley professor who has morphed into a gregarious climate-change entrepreneur.
He's among the most successful investors trying to profit from rising environmental awareness, whether by speculating in energy commodities or launching wind-power companies. Last year, the total value of carbon permits changing hands -- whether on public exchanges or in private, off-market transactions, where most still occur -- nearly doubled to €40 billion, or about $60 billion, according to Oslo-based Point Carbon, a market research firm.
Yesterday, Climate Exchange's stock jumped 16% after the firm reported a tripling in 2007 revenue to £13.6 million, or about $27 million. That gives the company, which handles about 90% of the trading on carbon exchanges, a market capitalization of roughly $1.31 billion. Mr. Sandor's 20% stake is worth more than $260 million on paper....MORE