Ebert brings veteran voice and experience to the Reserve’s core work and upcoming initiatives
LOS ANGELES, CA – Environment and energy expert Craig Ebert has joined the Climate Action Reserve as VP of Policy. During his career, he has helped create the foundations for international, national and state policies to address climate change, including pioneering efforts on carbon accounting principles. Craig also has been a key technical advisor during the development of landmark international climate change agreements and one of the key architects behind the construction of national GHG inventories. He joins the Climate Action Reserve, an environmental nonprofit organization and North America’s premier carbon offset registry, after advising the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and nearly 34 years at ICF, a top-ranked environmental consulting firm.
“I am thrilled to announce Craig Ebert has joined the Reserve team. He has been a very influential voice in the shaping of carbon accounting principles and policies and an instrumental figure in applying those principles and policies in the real world. The way his work intersects with the Reserve’s makes him a natural fit for the vice president role. Additionally, his specific expertise and experience will strongly support the growth of the Reserve and our upcoming initiatives,” said Gary Gero, President of the Reserve.
Craig has deep roots in environmental policy and methodologies. He served as the technical director of Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, which was adopted by the IPCC as its GHG Inventory Programme. He directed the development of the official U.S. national GHG inventory, beginning with the country’s very first inventory, to meet commitments under the UNFCCC. Craig supported U.S. negotiations on international climate change agreements, including negotiations leading up to the creation and signing of the Kyoto Protocol, and also helped develop the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) provisions under the protocol. Other work with market mechanisms and emissions reductions has included support of emissions offset methodologies under the CDM and support of California’s cap-and-trade program under AB 32.
As VP of Policy at the Reserve, Craig will be responsible for overseeing the development of offset project protocols, developing climate change policies and programs for the Reserve and leading the launch of new initiatives.
“I am excited to be joining the Reserve at this important juncture in international action on climate change. The Reserve’s stellar reputation and cutting edge work offers an enormous opportunity to continue my work towards avoiding dangerous human impacts on our global climate,” said Craig. “There is a tremendous amount of work to be done, and the Reserve is well-positioned to bring robust, concrete solutions to the global transformation to a low carbon economy.”
Tornek builds on over a decade of helping guide the growth and strategic development of the Reserve
LOS ANGELES, CA – Greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting expert Rachel Tornek has assumed the role of VP of Programs for the Climate Action Reserve, an environmental nonprofit organization and North America’s premier carbon offset registry. For over 10 years, Rachel has helped guide the strategic growth of the organization and pioneered the creation of standards for reducing GHG emissions. She’s gained expertise in a number of sectors, including mining, local governments, waste industrial facilities and livestock operations. In her new role as VP of Programs, she oversees the reporting and verification of offset projects in the Reserve program and leads the organization’s work as an Offset Project Registry in California’s cap-and-trade program.
“Rachel has been instrumental in helping the Reserve become what it is today. Her contributions started with the California Climate Action Registry and have continued through the launch and expansion of the Climate Action Reserve. And her work speaks for itself. She is widely respected as an expert in greenhouse gas accounting. We are excited to have her continue building the organization through her new position,” said Gary Gero, President of the Reserve.
Throughout her tenure at the Reserve, Rachel has helped shape the organization’s strategic vision and establish its globally recognized programs in GHG accounting. Most recently, Rachel served as Policy Director, and in that capacity she planned and managed the development of new offset project protocols. Her work on the Policy team helped develop offset project standards that were adopted by California for use in its cap-and-trade program and helped pioneer new emissions reduction standards for industries like coal mining, ozone-depleting substances and nitric acid production. Additionally, Rachel led the development of the California Climate Action Registry Local Government Operation Protocol and supported hundreds of member organizations in creating company-wide GHG inventories.
“I am excited to take on this new role at such a pivotal time for both the Reserve and for climate action across the globe. I am proud of the model offset program we have created here and look forward to expanding upon that success as we move forward,” said Rachel.
It’s summertime! The days are longer and the living is easier. The perfect time to spend warm, lazy afternoons lost in a good book while lounging on a chaise longue, or hammock, or beach towel. For these precise moments, we thought you might want to get some reading recommendations from distinguished climate leaders. We asked a few of our good friends to share their favorite and most recommended books. We hope that these titles will inspire and enthuse your summer reading!
|Climate leader||Book recommendation|
Rear Admiral (U.S. Navy, retired); Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Energy
|Book most often recommended to friends: “The Power of Losing Control” by Joe Caruso. It was a game changer for me. As a type A personality this book changed my life and my leadership style. It caused me to reflect on what was possible and what simply was beyond my control, and not lose sleep over it.Book recently enjoyed and inspired by: I am a history nut and haven’t read a novel in years. I can’t get enough of how our founding fathers acted, thought and shaped our beginning. With all we heard about our Founding fathers and the role religion has played, I found the book “Founding Faith: Providence, Politics and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America” By Steven Waldman to be fascinating.
Favorite work of fiction or non-fiction: Again with all that is happening around the world much can be traced to the evils and mistakes of the past. If you want a good understand of why the Middle East is such a mess I would invite you to read “ A Peace to end all Peace” by David Fromkin is a must read.
Book planning to read this summer: “The Writings of Abraham Lincoln”. To say the least, Abe Lincoln is the most impressive and yet troubled president of our country’s past. I hope to learn more of how he managed to hold a country so divided that it was willing to sacrifice thousands of its own for a cause, and hold out for even greater end. Lincoln completes the journey our Founding Fathers were unable to make.
Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and the Director of the Office of Planning and Research
|Book recently enjoyed and/or inspired by: “Signs Preceding the End of the World” by Yuri HerreraBook planning to read this summer: “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan|
Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Québec
|Here are a couple of books I’m reading: “Cities for people” by Jan Gehl and “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon MeachamRecommendations and favorites: “The Plague” or “The Stranger” both by Albert Camus, and “The Dying Animal” by Philip Roth|
Secretary for Environmental Protection, California Environmental Protection Agency
|Book most often recommended to friends: I have fond memories of reading “Lincoln” by Gore Vidal. I have recommended it to friends through the years.Book recently enjoyed and/or inspired by: Recently, I enjoyed reading “The Swerve” by Stephen Greenblatt. It’s a wonderful story about an interesting 15th century scholar who’s chance rediscovery of an early writing by the Roman philosopher Lucretious affected the development of western thought and culture.
At a different level, I enjoyed “The Long Ships,” a swashbuckling bit of historical fiction by Frans Bengtsson about Vikings during the 10th Century.
Favorite work of fiction or non-fiction: Fiction: I’ll admit to being a fan of Alexander Dumas and either “The Three Musketeers” or “The Count Monte Cristo.” Non-fiction: I recall many, many years ago reading “Endurance” by Alfred Lansing about Ernest Shackelton’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. More recently, I liked Ross King’s “The Judgment of Paris” about the birth on Impressionism.
Book planning to read this summer: I anticipate it will take most of the summer to finish “The Prize,” Daniel Yergin’s book on the history of the oil industry. Next on the list are either “Embarrassment of Riches,” the history of Dutch Culture in the 17th century, or Amitav Ghosh’s “Flood of Fire,” the third novel in his trilogy about the opium trade and its effect in India in the 19th century.
Hector de la Torre
Board Member, California Air Resources Board
|Book most often recommended to friends: “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – A great example of Garcia Marquez’s magical realism, telling the multi-generational story of the Buendía family in Columbia. His writing is so matter-of-fact in describing events that are so fantastic that they seem entirely plausible, maybe because these are the events of everyday life – birth, love, life, death.Book recently enjoyed and/or inspired by: “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson – Historical fiction based in Berlin in the early 1930’s as Hitler consolidated his power within Germany. Told from the perspective of the US ambassador and his family as they tried to get an understanding of all that was taking place in the crosscurrent of politics and national interests, and then the more difficult question: what to do about it.
Favorite work of fiction or non-fiction: “Yertle the Turtle” by Dr. Seuss – Whenever I am asked to read to children in schools or libraries, I bring this book because it is a fun parable of totalitarianism and human rights.
Book planning to read this summer: “Three Who Made a Revolution” by Bertram Wolfe – Growing up in the Cold War and as an undergraduate and graduate student of international relations, the Soviet impact on foreign policy was a fundamental aspect of the post-war interaction between nations. The nature of the Soviet Union was shaped at the outset by its revolution and subsequent leadership. This book focuses on the personal histories and relationship between Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin in building the nascent Soviet Union – their founding fathers.
CEO, The Better World Group
|I’d like to recommend “The Great Race – The Global Quest for the Car of the Future” by Levi Tilleman. It’s a really good read, almost an action thriller, about the auto industry’s competition for new technology and markets. But the best part is the credit given to the policy drivers put in place by California that have resulted in these advanced technology vehicles being brought to market.The other book I am enjoying, prompted by a recent trip to San Francisco at the request of my 20-year-old great nephew, is pure summer enjoyment (nothing to do with work.) It’s the photography of Jim Marshall, called “The Haight – Love, Rock, and Revolution” and tells the story of Haight Ashbury during the 60s and the Summer of Love. The photos are quite spectacular, and if I close my eyes….|
Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors adopts Grassland Project Protocol
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Board of Directors of the Climate Action Reserve, an environmental nonprofit organization and North America’s premier carbon offset registry, today approved the adoption of the Grassland Project Protocol Version 1.0, which provides a standardized approach for quantifying, monitoring and verifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from permanently preventing the conversion of grasslands to croplands in the U.S. The availability of this protocol means grassland owners and project developers now have a standardized, streamlined and flexible way to earn offset credits that can be used in the voluntary carbon market now and potentially in California’s cap-and-trade program in the future. Additionally, adoption of the protocol brings co-benefits related to these projects, including the conservation of wildlife habitat, avoided soil erosion and increased area for open grazing.
The increased production of and profit in commodity crops has put more pressure on converting arable land to crop cultivation. From 2008-2012, 5.7 million acres of grassland were converted to cropland. When grassland is converted to cropland, GHG emissions increase from three sources: 1) belowground carbon from soil and biomass is released, 2) N2O emissions from fertilizer application begin, and 3) CO2 is released from the use of fossil fuels used to operate equipment. Current expectations are that individual grassland offset projects will cover thousands of acres, most likely in the Upper Midwest, Great Plains and California.
“Permanently preventing the conversion of grasslands to croplands will not only avoid the release of around one metric ton of CO2-equivalent per acre per year but will also provide much needed co-benefits. Just as importantly, we know there is great interest in doing this. The Grassland Project Protocol is the result of contributions from experienced, knowledgeable stakeholders in this field and the high, regulatory quality standards incorporated into every Reserve protocol,” said Linda Adams, former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and Chair of the Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors. “This protocol would be a strong future addition to the family of protocols in California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.”
The Grassland Project Protocol incorporates lessons learned and feedback from other standards to create a new standard that allows for more efficient and economic offset projects while still maintaining high quality. The protocol development effort incorporated streamlining and standardizing wherever possible, which created an approach that balances accuracy, usability and conservativeness. For example, the protocol employs flexible options for monitoring, reporting and verification that will offer significant cost savings and allow for each project to be tailored to the needs of the landowner and project developer. Standardized eligibility screens allow projects to be more cost efficient, and a cooperative structure allows for the aggregation of projects. Additionally, the protocol features unique standardized emission factors that allow for much simpler project development and verification.
“The NRCS has a mission of getting more conservation on the ground. Voluntary and regulatory carbon markets provide farmers and ranchers with an opportunity to voluntarily implement conservation practices that reduce emissions and sequester carbon. When agricultural producers are compensated for the ecosystem services like carbon sequestration, we begin to recognize the full economic value of on-the-ground conservation. Agricultural conservation practices have numerous co-benefits such as water quality, soil health, wildlife habitat, and ambient air quality,” said Adam Chambers, Leader, National Energy and Environmental Markets Team at USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “It is encouraging to see the Climate Action Reserve recognize the value of voluntary conservation practices through the adoption of the Grassland Project Protocol.”