Paul Burman

Paul Burman

Friday, 01 January 2010 13:22

Chino Basin Dairy Farm Biodigester

Chino Basin Dairy Farm Biodigester

Project Name:: Chino Basin Dairy Farm Biodigester

Location: Chino Basin, California Project type: Waste-to-Energy Biodigester Standard: American Carbon Registry / Environmental Resources Trust’s Monitoring, Reporting & Verification Protocol Verification/Validation: Environmental Resources Trust

Environmental Benefits

  • Mitigates climate change
  • Waste management
  • Odor control and less localized air pollution
  • Reduction of local water pollution

Community Benefits

  • Locally sourced, renewable energy
  • Development of new technologies and additional jobs created

Project Description

Carbonfund.org supports the Chino Basin Dairy Farm Biodigester Project because it helps to reduce methane emissions and lessens the impact of global climate change. Biodigesters capture the methane generated by manure and transform it into a clean, renewable energy source. This particular biodigester collects manure from ten local dairy farms and is responsible for reducing more than 8,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions from the atmosphere every year, while also supporting local farmers and protecting the quality of the region’s groundwater.

From 2003 to 2009, the Chino Basin Dairy Farm Biodigester mitigated nearly 30,000 metric tons of CO2. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Leaders Program notes that more than two billion livestock exist in the US and account for 7% for anthropogenic methane emissions.

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The New York Times has reported that both China and India have agreed to sign on to the Copenhagen Accord to reduce emissions. China and India are two of the largest emitters of global warming causing greenhouse gas emissions. The Accord, reached at the United Nations Conference of the Parties (or COP15) meeting in Copenhagen last December, commits all the signatories to reduce emissions to help keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) from pre-industrial levels. To date, over 100 countries have signed on to the Accord. While the Copenhagen Accord is non-binding, it may prove to be the precursor to a legally binding global agreement. The world's largest emitters like the US, Canada, India and China will have responsibility for some of the largest reductions, but even small nations will be provided incentives to reduce. A key component of the Accord is the inclusion of up to $100 billion a year in subsidies for developing nations to adapt to climate change impacts and implement cleaner technologies. With India and China on board, hopefully this paves the way for the US to take strong action on climate change. The climate bills that have been debated in Congress have stalled for the time being, but may get another shot for a vote before the year is up. While their passage is nowhere near a given, at least one excuse for inaction (what about China and India?!?!) is no longer on the table. Image Courtesy of The New York Times
Businesses want global warming solutions. Here at Carbonfund.org, we see that first hand every day with businesses from all over the nation coming to us to find new ways to reduce and offset their carbon footprint. That is why Carbonfund.org was pleased to learn about a new, broad based initiative that launched today - American Businesses for Clean Energy. The purpose of this new group is to create a platform to show the breadth, depth and diversity of support for clean energy and climate legislation among the American business community. As the nonprofit leader in carbon offsets and climate change solutions, Carbonfund.org has registered to join. The group includes Gap Inc. and other businesses around the country. “The House has done its part by passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation,” said Stephen Cowell, chairman and CEO of Conservation Services Group, which helped launch ABCE. “We urge the Senate and the President to do the same.” Their website is designed to empower any business regardless of size or sector to participate in the climate legislation debate. By joining the American Businesses for Clean Energy, businesses can show members of Congress, the media and others that there is strong support for strong climate legislation.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 16:59

Carbon Reduced, Economy Stimulated

With both our economy and our climate in crisis mode right now, the 'Cash for Clunkers' CARS program took aim at both reducing global warming emissions and spurring investment in America's manufacturers. The program came to a close on Monday and has been deemed 'wildly successful' by Dept. of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Dealers submitted 690,114 rebate claims totaling $2.88 billion dollars. 84% of people traded in their 'clunker' trucks for fuel efficient cars like Toyota Corrolla, Honda Civic and the Toyota Camry. The switch from older trucks to more efficient cars has resulted in a 58% improvement in MPG among the nearly 700,000 participants of the CARS program. That is going to save consumers a lot of gas and a lot of money! There are many benefits to a program like CARS that highlight what Americans may be able to expect from comprehensive climate legislation.
  • Job Creation - by putting the right incentives in place that encourage greener technologies, jobs are created that can't be outsourced. Americans need to build the technology needed to meet our ambitious climate goals. The CARS program claims to have saved or created over 42,000 jobs and boosted economic growth for the third quarter of 2009 by 0.3-0.4 percentage points.
  • Consumer Savings - though there is an upfront cost to cleaner technologies (those participating in the CARS program were only subsidized for part of the value of the new vehicle, the rest they had to spend out of pocket), savings will be reaped over the long run. An average vehicle's lifespan is about 13 years and 145,000 miles - so one vehicle traded in through the CARS program will use about 3,354 fewer gallons (and emit about 65,600 fewer pounds of CO2!) than their clunker predecessors over that lifetime. Assuming gas costs $3.00 over that lifespan, that is a savings of more than $10,000!
  • Environmental Benefits - the benefits to the environment from reducing emissions, be it at the tailpipe or at a smokestack, are multifaceted. By reducing global warming pollutants, we are also improving local air quality (which improves human health), preventing the release of toxic materials that seep into our water and food (which also improves human health), and reducing the need to drill or mine for fossil fuel resources.
The CARS program was a success because it was an easy to understand initiative that benefited consumers and the environment. Many of the proposed initiatives in the current climate legislation provide this same kind of win-win. If only the Waxman-Markey bill had four-wheels, a steering wheel, and surround sound stereo, I don't think that we would still be debating it's merits in congress... Vroom Vroom! (Image Courtesy of the AP)
Is it real, and who says so? Real carbon offsets are third-party verified and meet the highest internationally recognized standards. An uncertified project provides no assurances that it is actually doing what you are paying it to do - making the investment inherently risky. One of the leading carbon offset standards is the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). A wide variety of project types, including reforestation, are verified to this standard because it is an internationally recognized label of quality. Recently it was announced that this standard is getting updated. According to BusinessGreen.com, "Under the new requirements, emission-reduction projects wishing to carry the popular Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) label will have to adhere to more detailed and stringent requirements governing how they achieve third-party verification for their projects... while all VCS-approved projects already require third-party approval from two separate verification bodies, previous guidance on how this should be achieved was open to some interpretation." Carbonfund.org supports projects that are third-party verified to the highest standards, including North America's first project to meet both the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards with Gold Distinction and the VCS.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 16:05

Carbon Offset Purchasing Guide Released

rpnlogoThe Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) - a project of the Center for a New American Dream - has released its purchasing guide for carbon offsets. RPN had contacted Carbonfund.org as a nonprofit provider who has worked with over 1,200 businesses & organizations. The guide is a comprehensive source of information that is particularly useful for businesses and institutions that are looking into offsetting their carbon footprint. The guide empowers readers by outlining the framework for what makes a quality carbon offset, the standards, third-party verification and auditing. Carbon offset standards like the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the Climate Acton Reserve, the Gold Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards ensure that projects meet the most stringent additionality and permanence requirements - thus making the projects real and reliable. Unlike other offset guides out there today this guide makes no attempt to rank providers. Many carbon offset provider rankings are based on subjective and/or arbitrary criteria that may or may not have anything to do with whether an offset is real or of high quality. Click here to view the guide.
Thursday, 24 September 2009 15:39

The Carbon Offset Survey Says...

EcoSecurities is about to launch the second iteration of their Carbon Management and Offsetting Trends Survey Results new and improved for 2009. The survey participants included 280 companies and 31 carbon offset organizations from all over the world to gain insights into green purchasing patterns and important decision making factors. Carbonfund.org participated in the survey that is slated for public download on September 29th. Carbonfund.org is honored to be a top recognized carbon offset provider in the survey.Carbonfund.org top carbon offset provider Some key insights from the study is that interest in green issues is still high despite the recession, with 76% of companies surveyed having implemented or are developing a carbon plan and 60% of companies have measured their carbon footprint. But North American companies are lagging behind, with only 54% of companies surveyed having completed a carbon footprint assessment. Other highlights from the survey include:
  • Over three quarters of companies have implemented or have started developing a carbon management strategy
  • Two thirds of respondents have already offset their carbon emissions or will consider offsetting in the future
  • Environmental benefits (91%) were highlighted as one of the main motivations for interest in carbon offsets, closely followed by carbon neutrality and marketing (89%)
  • 72% of participants nominated the US as the most desirable geographic region for purchasing offsets; this may reflect the desire for domestic projects as 56% of the respondents came from North America. Africa and South America were also rated as highly desirable locations for emission reduction projects
  • Respondents prefer renewable energy projects above any other project type with solar scoring 92% and wind 86%
By and large, the majority of respondents have a favorable view of carbon offsets and choose to support offsets for positive reasons.  But even with so many companies offsetting and the maturity of the market, many companies are still unclear on the carbon standards out there (though there is a strong preference for projects that meet third party standards). Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions about carbon offsets. Learn how to measure, reduce and offset your carbon footprint with the highest quality third-party validated carbon offsets. Curious about your carbon footprint? Check out our carbon calculators.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="406" caption="Wind turbines in Europe viewed close up"][/caption] The Cape Wind renewable energy project has been approved by Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, clearing the latest hurdle for the project. Since 2001, Cape Wind - an offshore wind farm proposal located just off the Massachusetts coast - has struggled through multiple battles in the courtroom and in the media from local residents including some heavy hitters like members of the Kennedys. The privately financed project will feature 130 wind turbines spread over 25 square miles off the coast of Massachusetts that will generate up to 468 megawatts and average 182 megawatts of power over the course of the year. At its peak production, the turbines will power 700,000 houses - or about 75% of the electricity demanded at Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island. The project is expected to create several hundred construction jobs and cut carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by up to 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year. The controversy with the project has centered around the potential environmental and aesthetic impacts that the turbines will have on the historic Cape Cod area. Located 5 miles off the coast on a shoal, some residents including members of the Kennedys are concerned about views. Extensive underwater environmental impact assessments have been undertaken, with more to come; they have thus far determined that the turbine bases will have minimal impacts on the local environments. There's still no assurance yet that the turbines will be built as more lawsuits are expected; however, the Interior Department's approval is important news for US wind and clean energy development.
Monday, 08 February 2010 16:14

Canada Commits to 17% CO2 Reductions

The Canadian Government has officially informed the United Nations (UN) that the country is committed to reducing emissions 17% by 2020. The UN requested that all participating countries at the climate meetings in Copenhagen commit to a 17% carbon emissions reduction target from a 2005 baseline. Canada's carbon footprint in 2006 was measured at 544,680,000 metric tons of CO2. Meaning that a 17% reduction would result in about 92,595,600 fewer tons of CO2 emissions every year for the nation of about 34 million. This is not the first time that Canada has made a strong commitment to emissions reductions to the UN. Canada signed on to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, committing the nation to CO2 reductions from a 1990 baseline. In spite of this commitment, Canadian emissions continued to rise to an extent. The US has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, though the commitment is contingent on passing legislation by Congress.
Thursday, 27 August 2009 16:58

Camping: Your Low Carbon Vacation

georgian bay at sunsetLife is hard and filled with technology, people and all sorts of things that seem to all too often stress me out. That is why when I take a vacation the best thing for me, if I want to relax, is to get as far away from everything as possible. Camping is a great way to recharge your battery, vacation on the cheap, experience nature, and maintain a small carbon footprint. My favorite camping trip to date was when I piled some supplies in a canoe and paddled aimlessly through the Georgian Bay, looking for the perfect island to camp on. The waters were clear (and cold!) and the weather was perfect. All I needed on that trip to make me happy was some easy to make food, a cheap bottle of wine and some pieces of driftwood to make a fire. My carbon footprint was small, but my satisfaction was great. When traveling, much of your carbon footprint comes from getting you to and from your destination. So when picking your camping location, consider some place close enough to drive. Sites like trails.com provide a quick reference for camping locations near where you live. Also, consider supporting Carbonfund.org's CarbonFree® Partners, like Mountain Plus, when looking to gear up for your trip. Also, where ever you may roam, offset the car or flight emissions that got you there. This Labor Day, if you are looking for a real break from life, pack a tent and some food and make a b-line for the wilderness. Camping keeps your carbon footprint small, won't break the budget and it might be exactly what you need to recharge your battery.
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