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Friday, 20 January 2012 17:36

Keystone XL Pipeline Application Denied

The big environmental news this week was the demise of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project.  For those in need of a refresh, this is an extension of an already existing pipeline that would facilitate the transportation of synthetic crude oil from the Alberta, Canada tar sands to multiple locations in the United States.  Needless to say, environmentalists have not been big fans of this venture. On November 10 of last year, after months of protests, President Obama announced a delay of the decision until 2013.  So we got a reprieve, if not a victory, for the environment.  Shortly thereafter Republicans introduced legislation that would require a decision be made on the project within two months, deadline February 21st 2012. On December 18th the White House released its decision.  From the official statement:

As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipelines impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Departments report, I agree.

This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people.

So does this mark the end of the project and its environmental threat?  Not really. The statement focuses on Republican strong-arming instead of environmental concerns and TransCanada has already said they intend to reapply for a permit. For more information on the pipeline fight, visit http://www.tarsandsaction.org/spread-the-word/key-facts-keystone-xl/ For insight into different green opinions on this development, visit http://grist.org/politics/is-the-anti-keystone-campaign-good-or-bad-for-the-environmental-movement/
Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:53

Durban UN Climate Change Conference in review

The 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, concluded on December 11 after two weeks of tense negotiation. The outcome?  An agreement to be part of a new treaty to address global warming. This comprehensive global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is different from past climate agreements, as none of its predecessors have been legally binding. The precise phrase used is "a protocol, a legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force," which admittedly leaves a lot of wiggle room, but experts agree this is still a step forward from prior voluntary arrangements.  The agreement, referred to as the "Durban platform," is expected to go into effect in 2020, with discussions slated to finish by 2015. Other takeaways from the Durban conference:
  • Unlike Kyoto, the pending treaty will apply to both developed and developing countries
  • A new Green Climate Fund will provide support to the poorest countries to help them reach their emission reduction goals and adapt to the realities of climate change
Michael Jacobs, visiting professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in London, said of the Durban agreement:

"[It] has not in itself taken us off the 4°C path we are on, but by forcing countries for the first time to admit that their current policies are inadequate and must be strengthened by 2015, it has snatched 2°C from the jaws of impossibility."

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="South African foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (right) gets a congratulatory hug from the conference executive director Christiana Figueres at the closing session."][/caption] The 2 °C to which he refers is the safe threshold, beyond which we'll begin to see catastrophic climate changes.  4 °C refers to the average surface temperature increase in the next century if we continue emitting greenhouse gases at the rate we are. As Jacobs' statement implies, despite the moderate advances made in Durban, there were also astonishing losses—among those, Canada, Russia and Japan's decisions to withdraw from the Kyoto protocol, citing an inability to meet their reduction targets.  It's clear that no matter what the UN climate conferences achieve, negotiations between state leaders aren't going to be enough. Individuals and businesses must do their part by reducing what they can and offsetting what they can't. Carbonfund.org provides helpful tips and resources for reducing your emissions on our site, as well as tools to help you calculate you, your family, or your business' carbon footprint. Once you've reduced as much as possible, donate to our portfolio of carbon reduction projects to become entirely carbon neutral! To avoid 4 °C, we must remain committed to the fight on climate change.  Join us today!
Thursday, 12 January 2012 15:44

New EPA Map Identifies Worse US Polluters

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come out with a simple and easy-to-use tool to educate you about your friendly neighborhood polluters. Click here to explore their interactive map of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the United States.  You can search quickly by state or create a more specific custom location search (though the latter doesn’t seem to work quite as well). The coolest feature is the option to select specific pollutants or polluting industries. So let’s say you’re researching the paper industry, writing a compelling report about the environmental impact of paper factories in your state.  You can use checkboxes to narrow down your search to return only the examples that pertain to your thesis.  Results include the name and location of facilities, as well as the quantity and variety of emissions. One very important thing to note about this map: the data set used does not reflect total U.S. GHG emissions, only those from the largest facilities. So don’t be duped into believing the total is this low!    

“Climate change affects us all, and we all must be a part of the solution," says Delphi President Michael Gerbis

Washington, DC. September 23, 2005 – The Delphi Group, Canada’s leading environmental and clean energy consulting company, and Carbonfund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the threat of climate change, announced today a partnership to reduce Delphi’s global climate impact to zero.  Delphi will offset its carbon dioxide footprint in its entirety through its partnership with Carbonfund.  Carbonfund will support carbon-reducing projects globally with the support of Delphi.

“We are thrilled to have the leadership and support of the Delphi Group and its employees on the issue of climate change and are glad Delphi chose to offset their carbon footprint with Carbonfund,” said Carbonfund President Lesley Marcus Carlson.  “The Delphi Group, our first Canadian business partner, is leading the way among North American companies in the fight against climate change.”

“The Delphi Group is committed to being a good corporate citizen.  Our partnership with Carbonfund made sense as the most cost effective and easiest way to reduce our impact on the global climate.  As a global company we need to find global solutions that still make business sense,” said Delphi Group President Mike Gerbis.

Since 1988, the Delphi Group has been helping private companies, governments and agencies devise innovative solutions to more effectively manage the process of complex change towards a more competitive and sustainable future. Delphi operates on the premise that business should be a valued part of local and global communities, making both economic and social contributions to our world.


Carbonfund.org Makes it Simple and Affordable for the Institute to Reduce its Climate Footprint

Santa Rosa, CA. September 23, 2005 —How does an organization that trains leaders about environmental and social justice deal with the paradox of its participants creating tailpipe emissions driving to and from classes and meetings?  “We retire carbon credits,” said Ron Sundergill, President of the Leadership Institute For Ecology and the Economy.

The mission of the Institute is to train community leaders to create public policy that balances environmental and social equity concerns with economic interests to build sustainable communities.  Participants in the training program meet one day every month, usually driving a car to attend.
Sundergill noted, “It’s always bothered us that when people drive to our program to learn how they can make this a more sustainable world, we add CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.  Sometimes we even feel a bit guilty for preaching to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while our activities actually contribute to the problem.

“I’ve seen activists compromised when labeled as hypocrites because they drove their cars to testify in support of legislation for cleaner air, even when they had no alternative but to drive.

“Recently, we discovered Carbonfund.org and realized they could sequester the estimated 30 tons of carbon created by our program annually, making the Institute ‘carbon neutral,’  We’re very excited that we can tell others that they can do the same for their families and organizations,” Sundergill explained.

“Carbonfund.org is thrilled to add the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Environment to our growing list of companies and organizations that are reducing their climate footprints easily and affordably,” says Carbonfund President Lesley Marcus Carlson.  “We created Carbonfund.org because the threat of climate change is too great to pass on to our children.  We have to act now.”

Carbonfund.org’s concept is simple.  We all contribute to climate change and global warming when we use energy in our homes, drive our cars and fly cross country or buy food and other goods.  Carbonfund.org makes it easy for people to calculate their emissions and donate to offset them.  Carbonfund.org uses the donations to support carbon dioxide reducing projects, such as wind energy, energy efficiency and sequestration.  Donations to Carbonfund.org are tax deductible.

“We have created the easiest pathway for anyone to reduce their climate impact to zero,” adds Carlson.  “This is a bottom-up approach that is incredibly simple and affordable.  For about $8 a month anyone can reduce their climate footprint to zero.  No politician or businessman can take away your right and ability to offset your climate impact.”


Washington, DC. November 7, 2005 – Goodbaker, the vegan gourmet baking company, announced today they were going ‘Zero Carbon’ by offsetting the firm’s climate footprint via Carbonfund. Each month, Goodbaker calculates its carbon output, and offsets the equivalent via a donation to Carbonfund. Carbonfund in turn supports carbon-reducing projects globally.

“Goodbaker is another small and dynamic firm that has taken the logical step to offset the carbon they produce,” said Carbonfund.org President Lesley Marcus Carlson.  “Goodbaker has realized that offsetting a company’s climate footprint is not only a good step ethically, it is also good business.”

“As a young business, viability is a constant concern. But there are many ways to define success, and our environmental and social viability is just as important to us as our financial viability,” said Lee Busch, CEO of Goodbaker. “We decided to go carbon neutral with Carbonfund.org for the same reason we decided to use organic and unrefined ingredients. Goodbaker is about providing delicious alternatives to foods that have traditionally been health-robbing. So it makes sense that everything else we do should have a positive impact as well. Carbonfund.org is a fantastic way to lower our environmental impact, and we are encouraging all our business partners to do this as well.”

Goodbaker makes delicious artisan baking mixes that are easy to prepare, and made with whole, unrefined organic ingredients. With nothing artificial, no cholesterol, hydrogenated oils, refined sweeteners, trans fats, GMOs, pesticides, animal ingredients or bad karma, Goodbaker is good for you and the planet.

Carbonfund.org makes it easy and affordable for individuals and businesses to reduce their climate impact to zero.  With its easy-to-use calculator, low offset cost per ton of CO2, and certified offset projects, Carbonfund.org is proving that anyone can reduce their impact on climate change quickly and efficiently.  Carbonfund.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit organization.


 

 

Washington, DC. November 11, 2005 – Lucid Design Group (LLC), a maker of data acquisition and display systems for the Green Building industry, agreed to offset their corporate travel carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org. On an annual basis, Lucid Design will calculate their travel footprint and offset the CO2 emissions with Carbonfund.org. Carbonfund.org in turn supports carbon-reducing projects globally.

“Lucid Design Group markets technology that makes the hidden emissions of carbon associated with operating buildings visible and easily understandable to the general public on kiosk displays and the web, said Carbonfund.org President Lesley Marcus Carlson.  “and they have taken the logical step of environmental stewardship by offsetting the carbon emissions associated with their corporate travel. We hope they continue to develop their offset plan in full at a later date.”

According to John Petersen, director of operations at Lucid, “our business is committed to creating a product that informs building occupants and users of the continuous flows of energy and cycles of matter taking place around them.  Our goal is to empower people to conserve resources, appreciate the value of renewable energy and local material cycling and to be better environmental stewards of our planet.  We believe that it is crucial for us to manage our company in a way that is consistent with the goals of our products.”

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 13:54

TourJet Goes Zero Carbon with Carbonfund

 

 

TourJet offsets all carbon related costs to doing business, from office energy use to air fuel used in flights

Washington, DC. December 12, 2005 – TourJet America, a leading private aircraft broker specializing in the needs of the entertainment industry, has announced they have become a Zero Carbon partner of Carbonfund, reducing their global climate impact to nothing. TourJet offset their entire corporate carbon emissions, from office energy use to jet fuel expenditures. At TourJet’s request, Carbonfund will offset the carbon by supporting much needed reforestation projects in fire stricken areas of California. Next year, Tourjet will look into expanded support of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

“TourJet’s Zero Carbon initiative is a significant step for an industry member that must rely heavily upon carbon fuels,” said Carbonfund President Lesley Marcus Carlson.  “TourJet going Zero Carbon demonstrates what our foundation has always maintained – incorporating carbon offsets is simple and quite manageable within any successful business endeavor.”

TourJet founders, Elizabeth MacLeod and Dave Davis, added “We’ve built our business on excellent client care and we think customer service in the new millennium includes making socially responsible and ecologically sound choices.”
TourJet has an unrivaled reputation of professionally managing and delivering chartered flight services to discriminating clients. TourJet offers executive jets, first class jets, turbo-prop aircraft, and even the largest of passenger aircraft and associated charter services. With a large segment of the music industry charter flight industry, TourJet has successfully expanded into providing services to film production crews, fortune 500 companies, professional athletes and celebrities.

 

 

Innovative Approach for Practical Action

Washington, DC. March 16, 2006 - The National Wildlife Federation, the nation’s leading conservation advocacy and education organization, is making its 70th annual meeting in New Orleans carbon neutral with Carbonfund.org, as a practical step to combat global warming.

“This is a first step, but it shows that we have choices to reduce our impact on global warming,” says Larry Schweiger, President of the National Wildlife Federation. “Using the tools of a free market system, we can make a difference in combating the threat global warming poses to wildlife and to our children’s future.”

This year’s annual meeting, being held at the Wyndham Hotel March 16 through 18, focuses on restoring Louisiana’s embattled coastline as well as the threat of global warming.  Among the noted speakers will be Steve Johnson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency who will address the opening general session.

The National Wildlife Federation is taking action against climate change by teaming with Carbonfund.org to offset the carbon emission impact of the conference. With some 350 people, including staff and delegates from 47 state and territorial affiliate organizations, traveling to New Orleans, the annual event will produce carbon emissions caused by air travel, ground transportation, and the use of facilities in the hotel and city. Carbonfund.org and the National Wildlife Federation will offset the carbon dioxide emissions by supporting energy efficiency projects that reduce an equal amount of emissions. The National Wildlife Federation is committed to accounting for its carbon expenditures.

“We are thrilled that the National Wildlife Federation is offsetting the climate impact of its annual conference with Carbonfund.org,” says Lesley Marcus Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “Global warming’s impact on wildlife is already evident and will have a terrible impact unless organizations and individuals across the United States start taking steps like this one.  The National Wildlife Federation is, once again, taking a leadership role in protecting our environment by taking the easy and affordable step of offsetting their carbon footprint from the conference.

Carbonfund.org is a non-profit organization whose goal is to make carbon offsets and climate protection easy, affordable and a normal way of life for every individual and business.  Carbon offsets - also called renewable energy certificates and ‘green tags’ – enable individuals and businesses to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in one location, where it is cost effective, to offset the emissions they are responsible for in their normal activities, like home, office, driving or air travel emissions.  For instance, a clean, zero CO2 wind farm can offset the carbon dioxide produced by a coal-fired power plant that powers a home. 

The National Wildlife Foundation, via Carbonfund.org, is supporting wind and energy efficiency projects that subsidize the cost of clean, renewable energy that also helps develop the technology.

The average American is directly responsible for 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 24 tons when factoring in the purchase of goods and services. Conferences, with the heavy reliance on air travel and other transportation, are an easy first step for any organization to offset. Because conferences also often bring decision makers together, for Carbonfund.org, it is an excellent opportunity to educate and demonstrate that being responsible is both simple and environmentally effective.

 

 

Initial industry survey finds Carbonfund.org with best price and value

Washington, DC. March 20, 2006 - As more and more people are taking responsibility for offsetting their climate footprint by supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation to reduce their emissions, Ecobusinesslinks.com, a leading web-based environmental information portal, has done the first comprehensive comparison of the nonprofit and for profit organizations providing carbon offsets.

“While more than a dozen organizations and companies are providing the services, what shocked us was the price discrepancy between groups basically providing the same level of environmental protection,” said Ecobusinesslinks.com editor Edgard Swinnen.  “Each group offered a high-level of certification for their offering, suggesting consumers should really be looking at price as the determining criteria.  Carbonfund.org clearly offers the most environmental protection per dollar,” he added.

Of the eleven organizations analyzed, five are based in the US, including Carbonfund.org, three in the UK, two in Australia and one in Switzerland.

At just $5.50 to offset a metric ton of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas causing climate change, not including the tax deduction American donors receive, Carbonfund.org was the clear leader in the study.  Carbonfund.org supports certified wind energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects, including a wind project on a Native American reservation in South Dakota.  “Carbonfund.org also wins kudos for giving their supporters the choice of projects they want to support, providing an empowering customer experience,” said Swinnen.  Carbonfund.org also provided the greatest range of offset types, including cars, home, air travel and national average.

“Carbonfund.org is dedicated to making it easy and affordable for anyone to reduce their climate footprint,” said Carbonfund.org President Lesley Marcus Carlson.  “We are trying to offer the lowest cost pathway while giving our supporters the choice of where their money goes.  If we are going to solve the massive global problem of climate change, which is getting worse with every passing day, we simply need millions of people engaged in the solution.  On this issue, we can not afford to put profit ahead of our climate,” she added.

Several groups, such as UK-based Trees for Life ($20 per ton of CO2), support only reforestation projects, seeking to replenish the rain forests and other areas ravaged by old growth forest cutting.  The more expensive groups, including Native Energy, are for profit companies that are specific to car travel or wind energy and cost substantially more than Carbonfund.org, which offers both services.  Sustainable Travel International, another for profit, came in at a whopping $30 to offset one ton of CO2, nearly six times the low cost provider.

The study also suggests the future for carbon offsets looks bright as more and more people are seeking to do their part to stop climate change.

Carbon Offsets
Carbon offsets are the process of reducing a ton of carbon dioxide emissions in another location for the emissions you cause. While most people can reduce their climate footprints by using energy more efficiently and buying cars that get better gas mileage, cost-efficiently reducing it to zero through individual actions is nearly impossible. Carbon offsets are a cost effective way to reduce the remainder of one’s climate footprint.

Carbon offsets enable anyone to reduce their climate footprint by supporting projects, typically energy efficiency, renewable energy, sequestration, biomass, etc. that reduce carbon dioxide emissions to offset one’s own climate footprint.

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