The climate crisis threatens to devastate the diversity of life on earth. Scientists warn that just ten more years of continued greenhouse gas pollution trajectories may commit the planet to devastating warming, sea-level rise, and species extinction. Greenhouse gas pollution reductions must begin immediately, and all sources must be addressed. In addition to our advocacy for new legislation capping and then rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as our efforts to enforce existing laws that already address global warming and greenhouse gases, the Center has also chosen to become climate-neutral by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions for which we are responsible and offsetting those that cannot yet be eliminated.

 

The first step in becoming climate-neutral was to calculate our greenhouse gas footprint, that is, the total of the emissions directly or indirectly generated by the organization. We used the Corporate Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Standard developed by the World Resources Institute and others to create an inventory of sources including all electricity and heating fuel used in Center offices, and all automobile and airplane travel on Center business.

As individuals, the most important change we can make in our global warming behavior is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We did this first by reducing energy use, for example by ensuring all lighting is provided by the most efficient fluorescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, that computer equipment is turned off when not in use, and by eliminating or switching to more fuel-efficient forms of travel whenever possible. Next we installed solar panels to generate electricity in our Tucson and Joshua Tree offices without greenhouse gas emissions.

Increasing our awareness of the greenhouse gas consequences of our energy use, travel, and food and other choices is the first step towards reducing our own emissions. Use our simple tool to calculate your own emissions.

The Center’s Climate, Air, and Energy Program works to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and protect the species most at risk from global warming. Our campaigns include obtaining Endangered Species Act protection for the species most at risk, enforcing existing laws regulating fuel economy, energy efficiency, and land use, and working for new legislation to cap and reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

 

 

After deciding to purchase carbon credits to offset past emissions, we researched many different options for offset purchases. We wanted an offset that will result in a net decrease in greenhouse gas emissions that would not otherwise have occurred, that is verified, that has an acceptable level of overhead, and that will also benefit, and not harm, biodiversity and local communities. After a thorough search, we chose to purchase in the Makira Forest Conservation Project.

The Arctic home of the polar bear is warming at about twice the rate of the rest of the world, and the sea ice is rapidly melting away.
Because polar bears are completely dependent upon this sea ice for survival, they are the natural poster child for global warming. The Center's Endangered Species Act petition asks the strongest and best species-conservation law in the world to protect them and draw attention to their predicament.