Prestigious annual award recognizes outstanding efforts to advance climate solutions
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Climate Action Reserve, an environmental nonprofit organization and North America’s premier carbon offset registry, announced the recipients of the 2015 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 2015 Climate Action Champions are true leaders in building a clean energy future. We salute their leadership and dedication to advancing climate change solutions and look forward to even more outstanding achievements in the years ahead,” said Gary Gero, President of the Climate Action Reserve.
The 2015 champions are:
Senate Pro Tem Kevin De León – Elected to the State Assembly in 2006 and elected to the State Senate in 2010, Senator De León has worked to craft and support innovative legislation that push forward solutions for air quality, climate change, advanced transportation, clean energy technologies, livable communities and other leading environmental policy issues. In 2012, his bill (SB 535) ensured that a minimum of 25 percent of the cap-and-trade auction proceeds are used to support emissions reductions in California’s most disadvantaged communities. And this year, Senator De León introduced SB 350 to strengthen California’s climate leadership by pursuing standards that will reduce petroleum use by 50 percent, set a 50 percent renewable energy standard for the state’s utilities and increase building efficiency by 50 percent, all by 2030.
“The world is watching California,” said Senator De León. “What we have done here, and what we do next will continue to set the stage for global action to address climate change. That is why it is critical we continue to lead by example.”
Dirk Forrister – Dirk Forrister is President and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), where he helps bring the business voice to subnational, national, and international action on climate change. Under Dirk’s leadership, IETA has been instrumental to the successful implementation and management of emissions trading programs around the globe, including in California. Previously, Dirk served as Managing Director at Natsource, manager of one of the world’s largest carbon funds, and as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force in the Clinton Administration.
Hon. Bill Ritter – Governor Ritter is the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, where he leads efforts to craft and support policies and programs that advance the 21st century clean energy economy. As Governor of Colorado, Gov. Ritter established Colorado as a globally recognized clean energy leader as he signed an unprecedented 57 clean energy bills into law. As a result of his leadership, Colorado is now home to the fourth-highest concentration of clean energy workers in the country, the second-highest renewable energy standard in the nation, and the nation’s first law to convert old and inefficient coal plants to cleaner natural gas.