API’s spring study abroad carbon offset project – China

API is excited to once again announce the success of our carbon offset program based on spring 2012 student participation and API matching contributions. In partnership with Carbon Clear, API’s program provides students the opportunity to address the environmental impact of their study abroad travel.

This time, students’ contributions went to support a cool project in China’s Guizhou province. Located in the southwest of China, the province is a relatively poor and economically underdeveloped area. Currently the area’s electricity grid is dominated by coal, a resource that is plentiful in the region. However, this project reduces the need for more fossil fuels on the electric grid by funding a zero emission run of river hydroelectric power project on the Wang’erhe River. Run of river hydro projects are smaller than their large hydro counterparts and generally do not require flooding lands and displacing plant, animal and human habitats. This is because the projects take advantage of a natural drop in terrain on a river, rather than forcibly building one.

Map of Guizhou Province (via www.chinatouronline.com)

In addition to the clear environmental benefits, the project also provides numerous social and economic benefits. For example, new employment opportunities were created during the construction of the station (1300 jobs), and 40 permanent jobs remain to operate the plant. Further, by providing a consistent source of electricity, power shortages are alleviated, boosting the ability for the region to take on greater economic development. Finally, because coal is the dominant fuel source, the toxins released during the burning of coal in the area have caused numerous health problems affecting the area’s local population. These significant health problems brought on by air pollution are lessened with the addition of zero emission power to the grid.

The project is certified to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and meets the Clean Development Mechanism’s additionality tool – meaning the project would not have gone on without the finance generated by the sale of the offset credits.

The offset credits funded by our student contributions have been officially retired in an offset registry account maintained by Carbon Clear. Both Carbon Clear’s carbon credit registry and financial accounts are independently reviewed on an annual basis. Where they exist, the company uses independent third-party registries to hold and retire their carbon credits. This further assures legitimacy and avoidance of double-counting offsets.

To learn more about API’s carbon offset program, please visit our website or join our Green Passport group.

Carbon Clear is a world leader in carbon management and one of the world’s largest providers of carbon offset credits. To learn more about Carbon Clear and their practices, visit their website at http://www.carbon-clear.com

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Comments

  1. Very cool. I love seeing this. Bravo!!

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