United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has created the first zero-net-carbon-emission Congressional office in an effort to offset his and his staff’s contribution to global warming. Menendez calculated the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the professional activities of his offices, including electricity use and the travel of himself and his staff. He then donated to the non-profit Carbonfund.org Foundation to purchase and retire 347 Megawatt-hours of certified wind energy certificates, and to support the planting of enough trees to remove 250 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
In total, Menendez’s contribution to Carbonfund.org will offset over 540 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Menendez also enrolled his New Jersey home in the state’s Clean Energy Program, which will offset the emissions from his electricity use there.
Participants Encouraged to “Reduce what you can, and offset what you can’t”
Washington, DC, August 25, 2006 — Clean Air Council, the largest locally-based environmental organization in Pennsylvania, and the nonprofit Carbonfund.org Foundation, a leading environmental organization making it easy and affordable for any person or business to reduce their climate impact, announced a partnership today to support carbon reductions and carbon offsets.
The announcement arrives at no better time, as United States Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) recently became the first Carbonfree™ lawmaker in the country, offsetting his office and campaign emissions with Carbonfund.org .
Carbon offsets are also good for Pennsylvania’s environment and economy, supporting projects in Pennsylvania, including a reforestation project at Run Nature Preserve in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Via Clean Air Council’s educational outreach and website, individuals and organizations can learn how to reduce their carbon emissions, and then offset the remainder of their emissions via Carbonfund.org. These efforts are targeted at awareness and action against the effects of global warming.
“More and more, Pennsylvanians are waking up to the serious threats posed by increasing levels of global warming pollution. Carbonfund.org provides an excellent way for individuals to take responsibility for their own contribution to the global warming crisis,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director of Clean Air Council. “If we’re to prevent irreversible harm to the environment, the economy and public health, everyone needs to pitch in to reduce carbon emissions.”
The average American is directly responsible for producing about 10 tons of carbon dioxide annually through their home, car and air travel, and their average total annual impact rises to an average of 23 tons when factoring in the purchase of goods and services. Carbonfund.org encourages everyone to ‘reduce what you can, and offset what you can’t.’ In practical terms, this translates into practices such as using Energy Star products, car pooling, and limiting electricity usage. Once someone has reduced the carbon emissions that are practical to achieve, offsetting with Carbonfund.org reduces their net carbon emissions to zero.
Carbon offsets - also called renewable energy certificates and ‘green tags’ – enable individuals and businesses to offset the emissions they are responsible for creating in their normal activities, like home, office, driving or air travel emissions by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a location where it is more cost effective to do so. For instance, a clean, zero CO2 wind farm can offset the carbon dioxide produced by a coal-fired power plant that powers a home.
“Global warming is a problem that impacts all of us and how we act over the next decade or so will affect our world for generations to come,” said Carbonfund.org Executive Director Eric M. Carlson. “The good news is that supporting carbon reductions is good for Pennsylvanian’s health, air quality and economy. The Clean Air Council has a long and impressive history of leadership on improving our environment and this partnership will educate thousands of families and businesses across Pennsylvania about the dangers of global warming, the low cost and easy solutions, and economic benefits the state will gain by fighting global warming.”
About Clean Air Council
Formed in 1967 by forward-looking community leaders, policy makers, and progressive business leaders, Clean Air Council works through media outreach, citizen-based advocacy, and government oversight to protect everyone’s right to breathe clean air. Finding innovative ways to make the public aware of the threats presented by global warming and the opportunities for reducing global warming pollution is just one element in a wider program that includes working to develop the market for renewable energy resources, strengthen sustainable transportation, and increase public participation.