Adirondack Council Buying Carbon Allowances

The Adirondack Council is one of the only environmental groups vying to retire 1,000 tons of carbon pollution this week.. That’s because they’re competing against power plants for carbon allowances at government auctions.
Willie Janeway is the Council’s Executive Director… He says “they’re inviting people to partner with the council to help purchase and then retire the carbon allowances..” and Janeway Continues by saying “Between Earth Day on Tuesday and Arbor Day on Friday, the council will retire three allowances, representing three tons of carbon emissions for every $5 contribution they receive as part of their challenge.” The Adirondack Council’s goal is to retire 1,000 tons

“This is our celebration of the fact that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is working to reduce Northeast carbon emissions 20 percent faster per person than in other areas of the United States,” Janeway said. “We would love to see programs like this in place around the country.” Janweay added that anyone wishing to participate can go to www.adirondackcouncil.org or call toll-free at 877-873-2240 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.

Carbon allowances are government-issued permits to emit carbon from a power plant smokestack. Nine Northeast states, from Maine to Maryland (excluding NJ) participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program.

Each year, the nine states offer for sale a specific number of allowances at auctions. That number represents the regional pollution limit, or cap. Power plants bid against each other to acquire them. Each year, the number sold decreases by 2.5 percent, until a 50 percent regional reduction in emissions is reached in 2020.Any allowances that are purchased, but not used, decrease the emissions cap further. Every allowance retired by the Adirondack Council reduces the regional cap by an equal amount.

Anyone can register to participate in the auctions, but the minimum purchase is 1,000 tons. The Adirondack Council accepts donations from its members and the public and bids against the power companies. It has been participating in the auctions since they began in 2008, retiring roughly 10,000 tons so far.

The Adirondack Council is privately funded, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of New York’s six-million-acre Adirondack Park. The Council envisions an Adirondack Park comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by working forests and farms, and vibrant rural communities. The Council carries out its mission and vision through research, education, advocacy and legal action. Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.

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