Climate Action Reserve Honors the 2014 Mary D. Nichols Climate Action Champion Award Recipients

March 28, 2014

Prestigious annual award recognizes outstanding efforts to advance climate solutions

SAN FRANCISCO, CA  – The Climate Action Reserve, an environmental nonprofit organization and North America’s premier carbon offset registry, announced the recipients of the 2014 Mary D. Nichols Climate Action Champion Awards during the Navigating the American Carbon World conference. The awards are presented annually in recognition of outstanding leadership and deep commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. For their efforts in the “fight” against climate change, the Reserve awards these exemplary recipients with a special championship belt. The awards are named in honor of Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board and Founding Chair of the California Climate Action Registry – the predecessor and legacy program of the Climate Action Reserve.

“The Mary D. Nichols Climate Action Champion Awards recognize those who have made significant and lasting contributions to address climate change. We are honored to present the awards to two individuals who have worked tirelessly to develop and implement smart, innovative and effective climate change solutions.  Throughout her extraordinary career, Wendy James has been a pioneer in environmental initiatives – working to bring groups together, influence the development of environmental regulations and stand as a strong advocate for high environmental standards.  Québec is truly a global leader in environmental initiatives and has standards even more stringent than those in California.  Jean-Yves Benoit was instrumental and tireless in the development of Québec’s program, its linkage to California and its involvement with the Western Climate Initiative,” said Gary Gero, President of the Climate Action Reserve.

The 2014 champions are:

Wendy James, CEO, The Better World Group – Wendy James is CEO and founder of The Better World Group, a recognized leader in political and environmental strategy, regulatory policy development and advocacy, communications planning and execution, and coalition building and management. With 30 years of expertise in media, government, corporate and nonprofit sectors, Ms. James works with environmental groups, government organizations and progressive businesses to develop unique strategies and solutions for air quality, climate change, advanced transportation, clean energy technologies, livable communities and other leading environmental policy issues.

“It’s a particular honor to be recognized by this organization that I helped to nurture from its earliest days and to receive an award named after Mary Nichols, someone I consider a friend and mentor and whom I’ve respected for decades,” said Ms. James.

Jean-Yves Benoit, Director, Carbon Market Division, Ministry of Environment, Québec – As the Director of the Carbon Market Division for Québec’s Ministry of Environment, Mr. Jean-Yves Benoit is leading the team that is responsible for both the development and implementation of Québec’s cap and trade system and its linkage with California’s program. He represents the government of Québec at the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and is a member of the WCI Board of Directors, a non-profit organization created to support the implementation of WCI’s Regional Cap-and-Trade Program.

“I am honored to accept this award in recognition of Québec’s leadership in tackling climate change. Global warming is a worldwide issue that requires international collaboration and local action. We sincerely hope that our climate initiatives and those of our partners like California will inspire other North American governments to join in our efforts,” said Mr. Benoit.