Environmental Nonprofits Creatively Finance Wind Power to Cut Carbon Dioxide
PORTLAND, OR — September 6, 2001 — The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and The Climate Trust announced today a ten-year joint purchase of pollution-offsetting green power worth over $200,000.
This purchase and retirement of 36,500 MWh of BEF Green Tags will result in estimated displacement of approximately 2,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, and significant amounts of other harmful pollutants. The transaction is unique because the CO2 offsets are being separated from the other environmental attributes and transferred to The Climate Trust. The CO2 offsets will be retired: the environmental benefits will be held in trust and not sold to companies for use in meeting emissions caps. BEF retains and will retire the remaining environmental attributes including offsets for nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, mercury and other pollutants.
"Two environmental organizations, BEF and The Climate Trust, are cooperating to reduce pollution and mitigate the impact of human energy use on global climate change. This purchase is equivalent, in terms of reducing pollutants, to parking 5,100 cars at the curb for the next ten years," said Angus Duncan, BEF president.
Mike Burnett, executive director of The Climate Trust, said, "This is appealing because each organization leverages funding from the other, and together we can pay for increased environmental benefits."
The Green Tags are being purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and will come from the new wind project at Condon, Oregon, or another Oregon wind project. The Green Tag revenue received by BPA will be reinvested in the next generation of wind or another renewable energy project to serve Northwest electricity users. The electricity generated by the wind project will displace electricity that otherwise would have been generated by burning fossil fuel at other power plants.
"Since burning fossil fuel releases carbon dioxide, the atmosphere's bottom line will be improved," said Burnett.
BEF was founded in 1998 to fund new renewable energy resources and watershed restoration projects. Former Senator Mark Hatfield chairs the BEF Board. Although BEF maintains a strong collaborative relationship with the Bonneville Power Administration, they are separate organizations.
The Climate Trust is a nonprofit organization formed in 1997 in response to landmark Oregon legislation requiring new power plants to counter their global warming pollution impact. This innovative legislation limits the amount of CO2 that a new power plant can release. Power plant developers can comply with the standard by making a payment to The Climate Trust, which uses the funds for projects that reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. These projects are called offsets because they offset the release of CO2 from the new Oregon power plants.
BEF Contact: Angus Duncan (503) 248-1905
Climate Trust Contact: Mike Burnett (503) 238-1915