Glossary

A New Approach to Mitigating Future Carbon Emissions

A New Approach to Mitigating Future Carbon Emissions

A New Approach to Mitigating Future Carbon Emissions


by David Priddy, Vice President of Business Development | August 27th, 2020

Seldom has a day gone by that we have not heard of a company or organization announcing new climate change commitments.  Just in the past few months, we have witnessed companies, including Apple, Delta Air Lines, and Unilever, announcing bold carbon-neutrality goals as they seek to do their part to address the climate crisis.  In fact, Microsoft’s plan to offset its entire carbon footprint dating back to its inception in 1975 may represent the most ambitious commitment that we’ve seen yet!

So, this leads us to a question we are often asked:

How can my organization achieve carbon neutrality while we continue to grow?”

While it may be game-on in the pursuit to green up your existing operations, you must also consider your company’s future.  As your business grows, implements new projects, expands office space, increases staff, constructs new facilities, or locates new business sites, you will contribute additional GHGs above and beyond your existing footprint.  This will need to be addressed as you plan your mitigation approach. 

So how can this be achieved?  Will there be enough carbon offsets available to meet your needs?  More importantly, is there a way for you to have more direct engagement when it comes to emission reduction activities that will align with your growth timeline?  Well, thanks to Climate Forward, a new program recently instituted by the Climate Action Reserve (the Reserve), the answer is yes!

Climate Forward

Climate Forward is a program that provides a practical solution for companies and other organizations that seek cost-effective mitigation of anticipated GHG emissions. The program is designed to facilitate investments in emission reduction projects today that will result in future GHG reductions that are aligned to mitigate the future emissions of a company, organization, or project.  Its purpose is to incentivize the implementation of emission reduction projects that would otherwise be unviable using traditional carbon offset programs.

Under this program, the Reserve issues Forecasted Mitigation Units (FMUs) upfront for a project’s entire crediting period upon the completion of its confirmation, a process conducted by an independent third party that demonstrates that the project has been implemented according to an approved methodology.  The methodologies within this program contain the eligibility rules, quantification methods, and documentation and confirmation requirements that ensure the consistency and rigor of GHG reduction accounting for a specific mitigation project.  Meanwhile, the up-front issuance of FMUs helps to shift the project’s economic curve to better incentivize long-term mitigation efforts, allowing the company to plan and implement emission reduction projects that align with their sustainability objectives.


FMUs versus Offsets

While FMUs and offsets are similar in that they are both equal to the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), there are several differentiating factors between them.  The primary difference is that FMUs represent emissions that are expected to be reduced (ex-ante), while offsets represent emissions that have already been reduced and have completed a rigorous monitoring and verification process (ex-post).  While offsets are typically applied against past emission-producing activities, FMUs can only be applied against a future stream of greenhouse gas emissions.  While the detailed auditing process for both project types is similar, they occur at different stages of the project cycle: for offset projects, the “verification” process is conducted periodically throughout the crediting period but, for FMU projects, the “confirmation” process is done only once, at the beginning of the crediting period. This one-time confirmation process helps to facilitate the monetization of FMUs in the early stages of the project, which in turn can be used to support the financing of future activities associated with the project.


Benefits and Applications

The Climate Forward program offers several benefits to organizations and developers that are seeking carbon neutrality:

  • It reduces the barriers for innovative, targeted climate solutions.
  • It can incentivize the development of carbon projects that produce co-benefits that may help the organization achieve ESG goals above and beyond climate impacts; such co-benefits can be tailored to the organization’s goals and values.
  • Projects can be targeted to occur in the communities that are directly impacted by their operations.
  • Projects under these types of programs help demonstrate climate leadership.

One potential application of Climate Forward is for GHG mitigation requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  CEQA requires state and local agencies to follow a protocol of analysis and public disclosure of future environmental impacts of a proposed project and to adopt feasible measures to mitigate those impacts.  Climate Forward can provide entities that are subject to CEQA GHG mitigation requirements with a cost-effective and environmentally rigorous option for future GHG mitigation.

Another potential application of Climate Forward is for developers of mixed-use communities to participate in reforestation projects, where the purchase of FMUs could be used to mitigate the carbon footprints of their projects while incentivizing reforestation efforts. In fact, ClimeCo is presently supporting a reforestation project in the Mississippi River Basin in partnership with Restore the Earth Foundation, using Climate Forward’s Reforestation methodology; the long-term goal of this project is to restore a total of 1 million acres using this methodology.


Getting Involved

Climate Forward provides organizations with a unique opportunity to partner with other organizations to implement sustainable projects while providing benefits to their future mitigation efforts.  As of this writing, there are a half-dozen methodologies that are either approved or under development in the Climate Forward program; however, there are many more creative, innovative mitigation activities that could be considered for development as a future methodology. The program is designed to expand the scope of feasible GHG mitigation project types by encouraging third parties to submit their methodologies for mitigation activities.  So, if you have an idea in mind for an innovative emission reduction or carbon sequestration project, ClimeCo is happy to help! 

About the Author

Dave Priddy is ClimeCo’s Vice President of Business Development. He has more than 25 years of experience in the environmental management field.  He is responsible for the strategy, development, and promotion of ClimeCo’s Nature-based Solutions initiative, and for developing mutually-beneficial partnerships with both landowners and conservation organizations that result in projects that generate positive environmental attributes. David holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

Restoring the Earth Together

Restoring the Earth Together

Restoring the Earth Together


by Taylor Marshall, Director of Sustainable Programs, Restore the Earth Foundation | April 24th, 2020

As a result of hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, flooding and other natural disasters, many of our forests and wetlands vital ecosystems have been degraded or destroyed. The need to restore and rebuild these ecosystems is essential, especially when it comes to a sound sustainable environmental future that supports biodiversity, habitat and surrounding communities.  

In 2008, we founded a nonprofit organization, Restore the Earth Foundation (Restore the Earth), with the hope of restoring the Earth’s essential ecosystems. We offered a unique approach to affect landscape-scale ecosystem restoration by leveraging the power of public-private partnerships and utilizing an exclusive, innovative and revolving funding mechanism.  

Today, Restore the Earth has secured federalstate, private and philanthropic funding to reforest over 60,000 acres along the Gulf Coast damaged by Hurricane Katrina. We were also the first to deploy restoration on oilsoiled wetlands following the Deep-Water Horizon oil spill, and we continue to support restoration along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River Basin.

O
ur mission is to restore one million acres of degraded lands in the Mississippi River Basin, often referred to as “North America’s Amazon”.

                                                                                    *The blue area is the Lower-Mississippi River Basin

The Climate Forward Program 

To enhance the realization of these restoration opportunities for their corporate partners, Restore the Earth pioneered the development of the Climate Action Reserve’s (CAR) Climate Forward Reforestation methodology. The Climate Forward program provides a mechanism for Restore the Earth to quantify, verify and register forecasted mitigation units (FMUs), which represent emissions that are forecasted to be mitigated in the future, using rigorous and peerreviewed carbon reduction project methodologies.  These FMUs will be marketed to voluntary buyers by ClimeCo to help fund future reforestation efforts in the basin

The Climate Forward program is designed to accelerate action on climate change by encouraging companies and organizations to proactively invest today in projects that mitigate future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This program provides a means to capitalize on the carbon mitigation potential of a reforestation project, representing a real gamechanger in our efforts to fulfill our mission.  

Pilot Project  

Restore the Earth’s first Climate Forward project reforests more than 5,000 acres of the historic bald cypress forest at the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, which is anticipated to sequester more than 1,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Working with Dow Corporation through their partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), an initial 400 acres will generate the first registered FMUs, which will be used to mitigate a portion of the carbon footprint of the IOC and the Olympic movement. 

Moving Reforestation Forward  

Restore the Earth is proud to lead the way with such high profile partnerships and examples, and is hopeful that these efforts will inspire other companies with carbon emission reduction commitments to consider applying the Climate Forward program to address their annual needs, resulting in significant reforestation investments in the United States.  

These investments will arrive at a critical time for the environment and the economy by affecting meaningful climate action in their own backyards, as well as in the communities of their employees, customers and neighbors. Restore the Earth applies EcoMetricsa system that provides verifiable measurement of each projects’ environmental, social and economic impacts and co-benefits, to every restoration project that we implement. While reforestation projects may have different characteristicsthey all provide exponential co-benefits to restoring native ecosystems and habitats that can be measured, quantified, third-party verified and reported on to their project partners.  These can include such benefits as job creation, clean air, improved water quality, enhanced quality of life,  economic growthetc.  

Restore the Earth has spent the past 6 years building a robust business case for landscapescale restoration in North America’s Amazon. These projects provide real impacts to the environment in one of the most ecologicallydegraded areas in the United States, while simultaneously benefiting local communities and economies in an area with the nation’s highest concentration of underserved communities.  

With a portfolio of truly shovel-ready projects, solid public partnerships, the incorporation of rigorous accounting, forward-thinking methodologies and a collaborative culture, Restore the Earth is well-positioned to address climate action right here in the United States.  Our partnership with ClimeCo is a large piece of that business case, allowing for the wide marketability of environmental attributes and the execution of significant investments in a timely and cost-effective way.   

To learn more about our partnership with ClimeCo, please click hereTo learn more about Restore the Earth and how you can volunteer or support our projects, please click here. 

About the Author

Taylor Marshall is the Director of Sustainable Programs at Restore the Earth Foundation.  Wearing many hats, her responsibilities include project development, corporate relations and ontheground management of reforestation projects in the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River Basin. 

Prior to joining Restore the Earth, Taylor was with The Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, promoting community-based approaches to protecting and restoring the Gulf coast from storm risk and land loss, and enhancing community resilience to such risks. Previously, she served as a Program Director with the American Council oRenewable Energy in Washington, D.C.  Taylor earned a Master of Science degree in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) from McGill University. 

ClimeCo Enters Strategic Partnership with Restore the Earth Foundation

ClimeCo Enters Strategic Partnership with Restore the Earth Foundation

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
FOR QUESTIONS CONTACT
Nancy Fuchs Marshall, Corporate Marketing Director
nmarshall@climeco.com or 484.415.7603

ClimeCo Enters Strategic Partnership with Restore the Earth Foundation


 

April 7th, 2020 (Boyertown, PA) – ClimeCo, a leader in the development and management of environmental commodities, is pleased to announce the formation of a strategic partnership with Restore the Earth Foundation, Inc. (Restore the Earth), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance landscape-scale reforestation in the Mississippi River Basin, “North America’s Amazon.”  Born out of disaster from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Restore the Earth has secured funding to reforest over 60,000 acres along the Gulf Coast. Their present focus is restoring a million acres in the Basin, the most ecologically degraded area in the US.

“We are confident that with ClimeCo as a partner, we will assure the successful completion of this critical reforestation,” stated PJ Marshall, Founder & Executive Director of Restore the Earth.  “Once completed, 100 million trees will be planted, 200,000,000 MT of CO2e will be sequestered and over $12 billion in economic value will be generated.  Restoration at this landscape-scale ensures that biodiversity, habitats, and communities are enhanced and supported in self-sustaining systems.”

To help fund this initiative, Restore the Earth pioneered the development of the Climate Action Reserve’s Climate Forward Reforestation methodology.  The Climate Forward program is designed to accelerate action on climate change by encouraging companies and organizations to proactively invest today in projects that mitigate future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Restore the Earth’s initial project will reforest more than 5,000 acres of the historic bald cypress forest at the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, which is anticipated to sequester more than 1,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.  The Climate Forward program provides a mechanism for Restore the Earth to quantify, verify, and register forecasted mitigation units (FMUs), which ClimeCo will market to voluntary buyers to help fund future reforestation efforts in the Basin.

“We are so excited to launch this partnership with Restore the Earth on what I view as the most significant reforestation program in North America, if not globally,” says William Flederbach, President of ClimeCo.  “The reforestation of North America’s Amazon is so critical to combatting climate change and provides so many additional environmental and social benefits to the region and nation.  Using the Climate Action Reserve’s Climate Forward Program is not only the best way to promote well-needed investments but is the perfect environmental instrument to align future reductions with an organization’s projected emissions.”

For more information or to discuss how ClimeCo can drive value for your organization, contact us at 484.415.0501, info@climeco.com or through our website www.climeco.com.

       *The area in blue is the Lower Mississippi River Basin where our work to restore 1M acres is focused

ClimeCo Corporation is a respected project developer, advisor and trader of environmental commodity market products. Specialized expertise in California cap‐and‐trade, voluntary markets and project development, and financing of internal CO2 abatement systems complement ClimeCo’s diverse commodity portfolio. Within the Climate Action Reserve, ClimeCo is the largest developer of U.S. GHG‐offset projects and producer of U.S. voluntary carbon offsets, managing projects that reduce more than four million tonnes of CO2e per year. For info, contact 484‐415-0501, nmarshall@climeco.com or dpingitore@climeco.com.