OSLO, Norway & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Conservation Fund and Statkraft, Europe's largest generator of renewable energy, have formed a strategic partnership to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by purchasing offsets generated under California's pioneering cap and trade program. Statkraft’s purchase supports an investment in redwood and Douglas fir forests owned and operated by The Conservation Fund in California.
With world leaders having just negotiated an historic global climate treaty at the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, such partnerships underscore California's role as a global leader and innovator in the fight against climate change, and the importance of working forest conservation and sustainable management in that effort. "We cannot fight climate change without improving the management of forests worldwide to store carbon," said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols. "California’s Cap-and-Trade Program provides a mechanism to support that goal with incentives to expand forest conservation within the United States and, as we move forward, beyond our borders, too."
Known as the Big River and Salmon Creek Forests, these timberlands deliver offsets verified by the California Air Resource Board and span 16,300 acres across California’s North Coast. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the project uses sustainable harvest methods and permanently protects the land from development and conversion to non-forest uses. The forests are also important watersheds for the recovery of coho salmon, spotted owls and other wildlife species.
Norway too is the global leader in supporting and protecting tropical at-risk forests. Earlier this month at COP 21, Norway, joined by Germany and the United Kingdom entered into a joint agreement. This agreement is pledging $5 billion to reduce and prevent carbon emissions caused by deforestation, under the REDD+ program of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “Donor countries—like Norway—have set aside substantial funding for cost effective, international climate mitigation initiatives. Private businesses have committed to zero deforestation in their supply chains. Together we have a unique opportunity to build public-private partnerships for production and protection. We need to demonstrate that forest protection can go hand-in-hand with income generation, employment opportunities and social development,” says the Minister of Climate and Environment for Norway, Tine Sundtoft.
Statkraft’s participation is another example of how Norway is supporting and spearheading environmental protection. “The importance of addressing climate change has never been timelier. Our work in producing renewable energy and now helping to ensure the protection of North American forests demonstrates our support and confidence in the integrity of the California cap and trade program as a means to reduce greenhouse gasses globally. The Conservation Fund has always been a leader and early mover in forest conservation, and we are thrilled to be supporting their continued efforts,” says Statkraft’s Managing Director of U.S. operations, Patrick Pfeiffer. Statkraft is wholly-owned by the Norwegian state, which has committed itself to carbon neutrality by 2050. The company has recently commenced commercial activities in the U.S. Carbon Markets.
The Conservation Fund is a national non-profit land conservation organization that conserved, and now owns and sustainably manages, 120 square miles of redwood forest on California's north coast. It is one of America's leading conservation organizations and one of the earliest and largest producers of forest based carbon reductions under California's pioneering greenhouse gas legislation. "As a long-time supporter of California's carbon reduction effort, The Conservation Fund applauds Statkraft's participation in its cap and trade program,” says The Conservation Fund’s CEO Larry Selzer. “Its exemplary leadership can spur further action among corporations to reduce emissions by investing in sustainable forests.”