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Climate & Energy: CLASSY Awards Top 5

Climate Change and Energy programs work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the effects of global warming and address the depletion of non-renewable energy resources. View the key indicators of this subcategory here.


Nepal Biogas Project
World Wildlife Fund Inc.
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING 61% of all households in Terai, Nepal rely on firewood for cooking and source their wood from nearby forests. There are also 4.5 million cattle freely grazing in these forests. Unsustainable firewood extraction and overgrazing are straining the forests that people depend on for their livelihoods and wildlife. Burning firewood also emits GHG contributing to climate change.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Nepal Biogas Project
Program Name

Terai, Nepal
Location

2005
Start date

Shubash Lohani
Program Director

@World_Wildlife[/su_pullquote]

The Biogas project provides rural farmers in Terai, Nepal with access to alternative clean-cooking energy through the household biogas plant. The units operate using a simple technology that uses cattle dung as raw material for producing methane. The installation of biogas units directly addresses two major drivers of forest degradation in Terai – firewood collection and grazing. The need for firewood is eliminated and farmers are incentivized to keep their cattle close to the village to collect dung, thus allowing the surrounding forests the opportunity to regenerate. Revenue generated through carbon financing ensures sustainability of this project while the micro-financing makes the technology accessible even for the poor farmers. In the last five years, 7,500 biogas units have been installed, saving nearly 33,750 metric tons of firewood or 262 hectares of forests from clear felling. In the past year, the project has reduced the emission of 30,000 tons of carbon in the atmosphere. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Shubash Lohani, Program Director” class=”top5″]Almost half of the global population each day cook on open fires that are fueled by coal or solid biomass such as wood. This results into a wide variety of environmental, health and social problems. Providing them will clean cooking technology will not only help the environment but will also contribute to the well being of half of world’s population. [/su_quote]

Biogas is a clean and alternate fuel that comes with health benefits. Photo credit: WWF Nepal / Akash Shrestha
Biogas is a clean and alternate fuel that comes with health benefits. Photo credit: WWF Nepal / Akash Shrestha

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Climate Action Reserve
Climate Action Reserve
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Climate pollution from the burning of fossil fuels and other sources has created a greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in significant changes to our climate. Such global climate change threatens to disrupt the planet’s food and water systems, its economic infrastructure, and its plant and animal habitats causing devastating impacts on people throughout the world. Lastly, traditional regulatory tools fail to capture GHG emission reductions in hard to reach sectors.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Climate Action Reserve
Program Name

United States
Location

2001
Start date

Gary Gero
Program Director

@climatereserve[/su_pullquote]

Climate Action Reserve collaborates with landowners, businesses, the environmental community, scientists, and the government to develop market-based incentives to reducing emissions from hard-to-regulate sources. Working in local US communities, the program implements a three-part strategy: 1) demonstrating the environmental efficacy and cost-effectiveness of market-based approaches; 2) encouraging collaboration among local agencies, and 3) bringing integrity and credibility to the certification of carbon offsets by pioneering clear, objective performance-based standards. The approach has now been integrated into California’s cap-and-trade program and is influencing other emission trading schemes throughout the world. To date, the Reserve has developed 15 standardized, performance-based offset protocols which provide accurate and comprehensive guidelines for the development, implementation, verification and registration of projects that reduce GHG emissions. They’ve also issued over 45 million high quality offset credits. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Honorable Gray Davis, Former Governor, State of California” class=”top5″]The Reserve has long served the voluntary carbon market as a trusted offset program that achieves real, immediate and cost-effective solutions to curb emissions. They will bring the same rigor, transparency and integrity to build confidence and trust in the California carbon market. [/su_quote]
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The Amazon is Not for Sale
Amazon Watch
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING In 2012, over 10 million acres of Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest were divided in 21 blocks and put up for auction. In 2013, only a few blocks received offers, but the Ecuadorian government is moving ahead ignoring public outcry with plans to auction & develop 21 oil blocks to state & international oil companies.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]The Amazon is Not for Sale
Program Name

Ecuador
Location

2012
Start date

Leila Salazar-Lopez
Program Director

@AmazonWatch[/su_pullquote]

The Amazon is Not for Sale: Stop Ecuador’s 11th Round is defending the mega bio-diverse Ecuadorian Amazon from proposed oil development. The area is home to seven indigenous nationalities and is considered one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world. In partnership with the indigenous people, local NGOs, investors and celebrity allies, Amazon Watch launched their international advocacy campaign to amplify voices of indigenous peoples defending their ancestral territories. The program has been successful in building the capacity of the indigenous people to speak up against the sell of their land, keeping corporations such as Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Conoco Phillips, and Talisman Energy out of the local territory, and continuing to press for a redressing of past harms. In 2013, the program collected 60,000 signatures in opposition to the decision of the Ecuadorian government. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Leila Salazar-Lopez, Program Director” class=”top5″] Keeping oil in the ground will keep rainforest and indigenous territories intact and prevent millions of tons of carbon from being released. Respect for indigenous rights and implementation of alternative development projects to reduce dependency on non-renewable resources will also be achieved. [/su_quote]
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Last-Mile Distribution of Social Benefit Product in the Developing World
The Paradigm Project
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Of the 4 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid, more than 3 billion still cook every meal over an open fire, resulting from devastating effects to the environment and the health of women and children. In addition, more than 90% of energy consumption in rural Africa is wood or other biomass.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Last-Mile Distribution of Social Benefit Product in the Developing World
Program Name

Kenya
Location

2010
Start date

Neil Bellefeuille
Program Director

@paradigmproject[/su_pullquote]

The Paradigm Project is a social enterprise that develops last-mile supply chains to serve developing world markets through a branded franchise model called EzyLife. Local EzyLife charter partners sell fuel-efficient stoves, water filters, solar lights and other life-enhancing products to base of the pyramid customers through traditional wholesale, retail and highly-trained sales associates called EzyAgents. In Kenya, the program has deployed $4 million in equity and term debt, sold 120,000+ stoves, saved families over $3.7 million in household income, saved 320,000 trees from deforestation and contracted the sale of over 6M tons of carbon offsets, all in the last two years. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Neil Bellefeuille, Program Director” class=”top5″]Most of our time over the past 5 years has been spent building and refining the model. We are now in the early stages of scaling it and expect to see significant global progress. [/su_quote]

Stoveman Trailer from The Paradigm Project on Vimeo.
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Green@Home
Acterra
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING 21% of energy use in the U.S. is from the residential sector. In California, 44% of home energy use is due to appliances, electronics and lighting. Specifically, Silicon Valley homes emit 27 million metric tons of CO2 each year. Many methods for reducing this so-called “plug load” usage are not part of the program currently being promoted by government agencies. In addition, because monetary savings are often low, most people spend little time thinking about home energy saving.

[su_pullquote align=”right” class=”top5″]Green@Home
Program Name

Silicon Valley, California
Location

2008
Start date

Debbie Mytels
Program Director

@ActerraGreenHom[/su_pullquote]

Green@Home employs a high-tech/high-touch model to address residential energy efficiency. Volunteers are trained to work with residents, installing energy-saving devices, helping them create an energy-saving plan, and empowering them to become climate champions in their own communities. In partnership with Bidgely and Home Energy Analytics, the program also provides free, online software that tracks and analyzes home energy use, based on SmartMeter data. Green@Home is then able to provide monthly email reports on energy progress and residents are given specific recommendations on how to reduce their own energy waste. High Energy Homes participating in the program saw an average electricity savings of 6% ($695/year), with the top quartile of those savers averaging 18.3% savings ($2,156/year). The average expected savings by national utility companies offering similar programs is 2%. LEARN MORE.

[su_quote cite=”Debbie Mytels, Program Director” class=”top5″]Climate change is a global problem. Saving residential energy as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is relevant to all developed and most developing nations. If programs like ours were implemented more globally, the effects of all those local actions would combine to create a significant decrease in the levels of greenhouse gas emissions. [/su_quote]
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The Environment Experts

The Leadership Council is an honorary board comprised of a diverse group of experts that will collectively determine the winners of the CLASSY Awards in this cause sector. Their unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector.

LC_environment - FINAL
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Photo credit: WORLD WILDLIFE FUND/CANON GLOBAL

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