Environmental Defense Fund Hires New Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Markets Director

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Witherspoon, (415) 293-6067, jwitherspoon@edf.org

SAN FRANCISCO (October 11, 2012) – Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today announced the hire of strategist Robert Parkhurst to create new opportunities for farmers, ranchers and foresters in California and across the country to participate in and profit from the state’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution.

“Farmers and ranchers are essential partners in meeting California’s commitment to passing on a better world to our children,” said David Festa, EDF’s West Coast vice president. “For example, rice growers are showing that they can help lower the cost of meeting California’s climate protection goal while providing world-class grains.”

Robert Parkhurst will lead EDF’s partnerships with agriculture in voluntary and compliance markets for greenhouse gas reductions, including AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act. AB32 requires that California reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Parkhurst joins EDF with a unique perspective from the private sector. Prior to joining EDF, he helped lead Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) AB32 compliance strategies. During his five years at PG&E, Parkhurst led the environmental component of the ClimateSmart™ program, a novel program allowing PG&E customers to reduce carbon pollution through the purchase of more than 1.5 million California offsets.

“I am honored to join the innovative team at EDF,” said Robert Parkhurst. “Our aim is to develop a $1 billion market for agricultural greenhouse gas reductions by the end of 2020. We see this as one of the best and most cost-effective ways for California to meet its 2020 pollution reduction goal under AB32.”

Before working for PG&E, he was the Global Environmental Program Manager in Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) Environmental, Health, and Safety organization. While at HP, Parkhurst led efforts for HP to create its first ever companywide climate reduction goal. Parkhurst has received a number of awards and acknowledgements for his leadership on climate change, including a Climate Protection Award from the U.S. EPA for his work on climate issues at the local, state and national level with HP and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California Climate Action Registry Board of Directors in 2005.

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. For more information, visit www.edf.org/california. Follow us on Twitter @EDF_CA and read our blog at http://blogs.edf.org/californiadream/.