The Climate Trust had much to celebrate in 2015. While marking our 18-Year Anniversary, we also met a requirement of the Oregon CO2 Standard by committing almost $4.8M for the Carty Generating Station, and wrapped up the year with a total of $31.7M committed to projects, and 2.7M tons greenhouse gas reduced over the life of the organization—equivalent to 570,000 cars taken off the road for one year.
Another major milestone was achieved with the award of a $1M Conservation Innovation Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture—this, the largest of the USDA’s issued grants, will be used to launch a first-of-its-kind investment fund to finance forestry, grassland conservation, and livestock digester projects.
We continued to modernize and advance our business through the unveiling of a new face and mission for The Climate Trust—a brand design that unites the different facets of our business through a dynamic visual system and transparent, inspirational messaging; as well as through the launch of a new and streamlined online application process for carbon project developers seeking financing.
The Trust was honored as a recipient of the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon award for the second year running. Investing in our people, and their long-term happiness is something we take seriously, and something we believe makes for measurable and high-quality climate solutions.
Under the leadership of Sean Penrith, two strategic additions were welcomed to the Board of Directors, adding decades of environmental and financial expertise to the current membership. The Trust’s internal team also benefitted from two key hires, increasing critical expertise in the forestry sector. Additionally, we amplified our commitment to transparency via the launch of a Glass Door Committee of external expert advisors to provide insight on our carbon credit acquisitions efforts.
When looking back at 2015, we are proud of our accomplishments. Highlights include the release of a two-year assessment of blue carbon on Louisiana’s coast; a comprehensive look at harmonizing the proposed Clean Power Plan with Oregon’s existing law and policy; as well as an in-depth look at catalyzing carbon mitigation and sequestration through offset project investment.
It was also a year of firsts, including the purchase of the first Avoided Forest Conversion offsets in the California market; the acquisition of offsets from a methane-to-electricity project that was the first in our portfolio to generate CCOs under the ARB protocol; and the purchase of The Trust’s sole Oregon-based forest credits through an innovative agreement with the City of Astoria.
Additionally, we testified at a number of Oregon climate policy hearings for Portland City Council, House Committee on Energy and the Environment, and Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
The Trust is proud to play a role in combating the rise in global temperatures through active participation and leadership in carbon markets. We look forward to working with partners to continue that trend in 2016, as we roll out our pilot investment fund, and offer financial support at a vital stage of project development.
Board Chair, The Climate Trust
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