Sempervirens Fund and PG&E'S ClimateSmart(TM) Program Preserve Redwoods, Complete Verification of Lompico Forest Carbon Project ClimateSmart Program Retires 9,248 Tons of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions
Release Date: August 30, 2010
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
LOS ALTOS, Calif. – Sempervirens Fund, a 110-year-old land trust, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) ClimateSmart™ program today announced that a joint effort to sequester greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by preserving a redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains has received independent verification of its carbon offsets.
Two years ago, Sempervirens Fund and the ClimateSmart program announced the Lompico Forest Carbon Project to generate carbon offsets. By managing redwood growth responsibly and preventing future logging, the Lompico Forest Carbon Project will preserve 425 acres of redwood trees for the next 100 years. The verification confirms that the project has captured the equivalent of 9,248 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equal to the GHG emissions of more than 1,700 cars for one year.
The offsets were verified under the protocols of the Climate Action Reserve, a national offsets program that is working to ensure integrity, transparency and financial value in the U.S. carbon market.
With the verification of the Lompico Forest Carbon Project, the ClimateSmart program was able to retire 9,248 metric tons of verified GHG emission reductions, which were purchased on behalf of its approximately 30,000 enrolled customers. The retirement of the verified GHG emission reductions ensures that the project's emission reductions will not be used for any purpose other than for offsetting the GHG emissions from the energy use of the ClimateSmart program's enrolled customers.
"We have put a lot of work into this project and are very excited to have it all pay off," said Reed Holderman, executive director of Sempervirens Fund. "Thanks to the investment from the ClimateSmart program, not only were we able to purchase and protect the Lompico Forest, but we were also able to set a path for the preservation of even more forests through similar projects in the future. As California's first land trust, we are proud to continue our heritage of preserving redwood forests, setting standards, and providing a role model for other groups."
The project began when Sempervirens Fund purchased the Lompico Forest, a critical watershed and wildlife habitat, to protect it from the immediate threat of logging. In 2008, Sempervirens entered into a contract with the ClimateSmart program, which purchased the GHG emission reductions generated by the growth of the trees and the prevention of any future logging.
The ClimateSmart program is a voluntary, tax-deductible program that allows enrolled customers to balance out the GHG emissions produced by the energy they use. To participate, customers pay a separate amount on their monthly energy bill, based on their actual energy use. The average residential customer pays less than five dollars per month. PG&E invests all payments in new, independently verified projects that reduce or absorb GHG emissions.
"The ClimateSmart program's contract with Sempervirens Fund allows enrolled customers to balance out their own energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, while helping preserve redwood trees in the Lompico Forest," said Robert Parkhurst, climate protection and analysis manager for PG&E. "The ClimateSmart program is proud to have purchased and retired the Lompico Forest Carbon Project's independently verified greenhouse gas emission reductions on behalf of those customers."
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), the leading verifier for Climate Action Reserve forest carbon offset projects, provided third-party verification of the Lompico Forest Carbon Project.
"The carbon emission reductions generated by the Lompico Forest Carbon Project were verified against the demanding requirements of the Climate Action Reserve's newest version of its Forest Project Protocol. The Reserve is widely acknowledged as having the most rigorous forest carbon standards in the U.S.," said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, senior vice-president of SCS.
Founded originally as the Sempervirens Club, Sempervirens Fund has preserved redwood forests since 1900, when it purchased 3,800 acres of spectacular old growth redwoods that established Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California's first state park. Since then, Sempervirens Fund has raised over $40 million and protected 25,000 acres of redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Sempervirens Fund is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to protect and permanently preserve redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest, wildlife habitat, watersheds, and other important natural and scenic features of California's Santa Cruz Mountains, and to encourage public appreciation and enjoyment of this environment.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/newsroom.