As Climate Week NYC kicks off bringing together influential global voices who are leading the low carbon transition, we would like to highlight some great ideas and quotes on the importance of our shared climate and planet. From astrophysicists to actors, scientists to world leaders, environmentalists to Republicans, there is consensus on the seriousness of climate change and the need to take action to protect our planet. Here are some of the quotes that we found the most inspiring, most thought-provoking, and most re-affirming in our mission to advance climate solutions.
California’s pioneering cap-and-trade program achieved an important and symbolic milestone yesterday when the California Air Resources Board (ARB) handed out the final issuance of ARB Offset Credits (ARBOCs) to early action projects. In total, 24,062,879 ARBOCs were issued by the program to early action projects, 22,105,093 (92%) of which came from projects registered with the Climate Action Reserve.
These early action credits served important functions for the start and advancement of the program. The volume helped provide an initial supply of offset credits, which made compliance more economic, lessened compliance costs passed down to consumers and encouraged emission reduction activities from non-capped sectors. The credits also recognized the value and impact of existing, high quality offset projects. Perhaps most importantly, ARB’s recognition of the value of early actions confirmed the wisdom and commitments demonstrated by many stakeholders to take positive actions on climate change before the cap-and-trade program was fully defined.
The majority of early action ARBOCs was issued to forest projects. The numerous benefits of forest offset projects and their charismatic appeal are well known. The Usal Redwood Forest project was the largest early action project, receiving the largest number of credits with over 4.6 million issued. The project previously earned recognition from the Climate Action Reserve when the Usal Redwood Forest Company of California (URFC) was awarded the 2015 Project Developer of the Year Award. The project achieved the highest level of emissions reduction of any project registered with the Climate Action Reserve that year.
It is projects like the Usal Redwood Forest project and many others that helped the cap-and-trade program get off to a solid start and create confidence for market participants. The Climate Action Reserve congratulates these projects and ARB in achieving today’s milestone.
|Forest||ODS||Livestock||Mine Methane||Rice*||Urban Forest|
*Early action credits under the Rice Protocol may be issued through December 31, 2016.
Through USDA NRCS grant, Climate Action Reserve and partners revolutionize grasslands’ role in land conservation and carbon markets
LOS ANGELES, CA – Marking a key milestone for bringing grassland offset projects into the carbon market and strengthening their role in land conservation, the first two grassland offset projects have been listed with the Climate Action Reserve, North America’s leading offset project registry. The projects, both from the Southern Plains Land Trust (SPLT), are pilot projects made possible through a USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). The Reserve was awarded this two-year grant in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), K·Coe Isom, C-AGG, The Climate Trust and SCS Global Services.
“Through the Conservation Innovation Grants program, NRCS leverages environmental markets to achieve our mission of getting more conservation on the ground,” said NRCS Chief Jason Weller. “This grassland CIG partnership demonstrates how carbon market payments can help ensure that grasslands remain intact, providing working lands grazing opportunities and valuable wildlife habitat while generating marketable carbon credits to an expanding domestic carbon market.”
Grasslands naturally absorb CO2 through photosynthesis and, with sustainable management and protection, can function as carbon sinks and reservoirs. When grasslands are disturbed, a significant portion of the carbon stored in the soil and biomass oxidizes and decays, releasing CO2 back into the atmosphere. Over half of the grasslands in the U.S. have been disturbed and converted to other uses, mainly cropland. From 2008-2012, 5.7 million acres of grassland – an area roughly the size of New Hampshire – were converted to cropland. When grasslands are converted to cropland, not only is the carbon stored in the soil released but emissions also increase due to cultivation activities, such as fertilizer application and fossil fuel combustion.
Through grassland offset projects, landowners have the opportunity to create a win-win-win situation. Landowners earn offset credits for avoided conversion of their grassland. By doing this, they protect and enrich their land through sustainable land management and they also make a meaningful contribution to addressing climate change. The SPLT projects, Raven’s Nest and Heartland Ranch, are being developed with the assistance of EDF and The Climate Trust. The two conservation easements combined will protect more than 15,000 acres of grassland in southeastern Colorado. More than 2,100 of these acres are under threat of being converted to cropland, generating GHG emissions far into the future. These specific acres will generate offset credits, which can be sold for revenue in the carbon market, and SPLT can also continue earning revenue from ranching on the land.
“The grasslands protocol recognizes what many landowners in the southern Great Plains have understood since the Dust Bowl: it’s better to keep native grasslands ‘the right side up’ and not plow them under for short-sighted profits. Making grassland preservation more financially attractive is better for both the region and the global climate,” said Nicole Rosmarino, Executive Director, Southern Plains Land Trust.
“This project not only helps the environment, it gives ranchers another income source,” said Robert Parkhurst, Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Markets Director, EDF. “Ranchers are able to maintain the land as a working grassland, while at the same time earning credits which can be sold into existing carbon markets. It is also one of the most straightforward and easy to use protocols I have ever seen.”
SPLT works to preserve the shortgrass prairie ecosystems of the Great Plains. It plans to develop another offset project covering over 7,600 acres in 2017. Because SPLT is a pioneer in participating in the NRCS CIG, a large portion of the costs for developing and verifying the projects are being covered by the grant, helping to increase the revenue for SPLT.
“Protecting grasslands presents a tremendous opportunity to make ranchers and land owners powerful forces in addressing climate change, and by using the carbon market as a tool to fund the protection, there is a win-win-win situation. We are honored to work with SPLT and EDF on this pioneering initiative and commend SPLT for being a pioneer. We encourage other ranchers and land owners to explore this opportunity, especially now when a significant part of their projects can be covered by the generous Conservation Innovation Grant from NRCS,” said Craig Ebert, President, Climate Action Reserve.
To learn more about grassland offset projects, please visit http://www.climateactionreserve.org/how/protocols/grassland/.
Thank you for SB32
Ten years ago, the California legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or Assembly Bill (AB) 32, a comprehensive climate bill requiring the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop regulations to cut the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Since AB32’s adoption and implementation, California has achieved significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and is ahead of schedule to meet its 2020 emissions targets. With smart and effective programs like the low carbon fuel standard, renewable portfolio standard, energy efficiency standards, and cap-and-trade program, California firmly established its role as a leading climate policy innovator. Protecting public health, environment, air quality, and global climate came with the important additional benefit of growing and strengthening the state’s clean tech and low carbon economy.
Yesterday, the legislature voted to extend California’s climate leadership with the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 32, which codifies Governor Jerry Brown’s executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. SB32 continues California trailblazing efforts to benefit our health, environment, and economy. Thank you to California’s legislators for pushing the state’s clean energy agenda forward.
Through new role, the former Reserve President will continue to help guide the development of the organization
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors elected Gary Gero to a new seat on the Board. Gary retired as President of the organization at the end of December 2015 after serving in the role for nearly nine years. During his tenure, he helped launch the Reserve from the California Climate Action Registry and led the organization’s development to become North America’s leading offset registry, a respected collaborator and an internationally respected pioneer in rigorous offset standards.
“We are very fortunate and appreciative to still have Gary so closely involved with the continued growth and development of the Climate Action Reserve. It was under his leadership that the organization was launched and earned a reputation for being a pioneering force in transparent carbon accounting standards. Now he will be involved with guiding the continued growth of the organization in its next chapter,” said Linda Adams, Chair of the Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors. “Gary will bring a very unique perspective to the leadership of the Reserve, and we are thrilled to be able to continue working with such a passionate, committed environmental advocate.”
Gary’s career includes nearly 20 years of work in local government, primarily in the City of Los Angeles where he served as Air Quality Director and subsequently Assistant General Manager for the Environmental Affairs Department focusing on climate change, sustainable development, energy policy, and alternative fuel vehicles. Gary serves on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters and serves on the Steering Committee of the California Sustainability Alliance. He was a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee and served for six years on the City of Glendale Planning Commission.
“I am truly honored to be elected to the Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors and to continue working with such a dedicated, talented staff and Board. I know that there are numerous opportunities for the organization to use its expertise and knowledge to make a meaningful impact in addressing climate change, and I am looking forward to being involved during such an exciting time,” said Gary.
Please visit the Climate Action Reserve website to learn more about the organization and its Board of Directors.