Ten years ago, when PG&E became a charter member of the Climate Action Reserve, most of the world was just becoming familiar with terms such as greenhouse-gas emissions, carbon offsets and others.
This month, PG&E was honored for its ground-breaking climate work, including the ClimateSmart™ program that lets customers designate dollars through their bills to help combat global warming. In the past decade, PG&E has helped its customers focus on these issues.
PG&E was named a Climate Action Champion by the Climate Action Reserve, an organization that was formed to establish a voluntary registry where companies could accurately quantify and report their emissions. The CAR has now evolved into the primary writer of protocols that specify rules to measure the offsets of carbon-reduction projects. More than 91 projects around the world are registered with the CAR’s carbon offset program, which has issued more than 12 million “Carbon Reserve Tonnes,” or carbon offset credits.
“We have a strong and long-standing partnership with PG&E, and throughout the years, we have not only watched PG&E encourage environmental responsibility of its customers and peers, but also we’ve watched PG&E serve as an environmental leader itself,” said Gary Gero, president of the Climate Action Reserve.
Gero described PG&E as “a pioneer in climate action.”
Steve Kline, vice president of corporate environmental and federal affairs and the company’s chief sustainability officer, accepted the award for PG&E. The awards were presented at the Navigating the American Carbon World conference held April 13-15 in Los Angeles.
Other winners were Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Terry Tamminen, the former secretary of the California EPA under Gov. Schwarzenegger and the founder of Seventh Generation Advisors.
Through ClimateSmart™, PG&E has invested in greenhouse-gas reduction projects at several forests, at a landfill and at dairy farms—all in California. The program has nearly 1.5 million tons of GHG offsets under contract.
According to Wendy Pulling, director of environmental policy, PG&E uses the CAR protocols to verify the volume of carbon reduction for its ClimateSmart™ program.
“We road-test them,” Pulling said of those protocols. “For our ClimateSmart™ program, we have had the opportunity to use four CAR protocols: the forest carbon, the ozone depleting substance, the landfill gas and manure management protocols.”