Exelon signs rainforest conservation deal to help reduce emissions
October 13, 2008
Exelon Corporation, an American energy giant, has agreed to finance Amazon forest conservation in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, reports the Field Museum, its partner in the project.
Exelon will donate $1.5 million towards the Field Museum’s biological inventories and assessment of forest carbon stocks of the region, which is believed to be one of the most biodiverse in the world. The partnership will seek to cut net greenhouse emissions by reducing deforestation through the establishment of new protected areas. Deforestation and land use change accounts for roughly one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Exelon’s support will help the museum maintain its expert team of biologists and anthropologists, which conducts inventories of threatened, scientifically unknown landscapes with high conservation potential,” said John McCarter, president of The Field Museum. “This will lead to the protection of intact ecosystems and species that are vulnerable, have very small ranges or are not known to occur anywhere else.”
John W. Rowe, chairman and CEO of Exelon, said the partnership will boost the potential for protecting forests as a means to help mitigate emissions and slow climate change.
“By partnering with The Field Museum, we can identify forests and habitats for long-term protection to prevent the emission of significant quantities of carbon” he said. “As a corollary, Exelon will gain valuable experience in developing carbon offset projects… our partnership will have strategic benefits to our business. Cordillera Azul National Park [a park in Peru that will be surveyed under the initiative] may serve as a model for the accurate measurement of carbon offsets from avoided deforestation. It is our hope that this voluntary protocol will be approved for use by others to meet legislative and regulatory requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
In making the announcement, Exelon joins a growing list of companies pushing for official U.S. government support of avoided deforestation in future climate negotiations.