Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry Wins 2024 ACR Climate Leadership Award



March 20, 2024

Government of Guyana, Climate Impact Partners, and Green Assets also recognized for enduring commitment to climate action

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry received the 2024 ACR Climate Leadership Award at ACR’s Climate Impact Awards event held last night. Other winners were the Government of Guyana, Climate Impact Partners, and Green Assets. ACR, an internationally recognized carbon crediting program that operates in global compliance and voluntary carbon markets, convenes the annual event to recognize enduring and demonstrated commitment to ambitious climate action.

“With the urgency of climate change undeniable, the 2024 award winners are shining examples of what’s possible when vision, determination and pragmatism join together,” said Mary Grady, Executive Director of ACR. “The winners demonstrate how high integrity carbon markets are delivering meaningful climate action to achieve Paris Agreement goals.”

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry received the 2024 Climate Leadership Award for his relentless dedication to motivate urgent, practical, and transformational climate action by governments, businesses, and civil society. Kerry served on the U.S. delegation to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, where the U.N. climate framework was created, and co-authored climate change legislation as a U.S. Senator. More recently, he has played a critical role in the “decisive decade” for climate. As Secretary of State, he helped to broker the landmark Paris Agreement, which he signed on behalf of the U.S. As Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, he re-established the United States’ credibility on the world stage. In particular, his vision to create the Energy Transition Accelerator will catalyze private capital through carbon markets to support an ambitious and just energy transition around the world.

“No U.S. based organization has done more than ACR to realize the promise of high-integrity carbon markets. From establishing the world’s first private greenhouse gas registry to pioneering the next generation of carbon crediting, ACR has been at the forefront every step of the way,” stated Kerry in a video statement for the event. “And that’s why we turned to you for high-integrity standards to underpin two of our most critical carbon market initiatives: the LEAF coalition, which is helping to reduce tropical deforestation, and the new Energy Transition Accelerator, which will help developing countries speed their transition to clean power. Getting initiatives like these off the ground requires thought leadership, technical acumen, diplomacy, and an enduring commitment to environmental quality, all of which ACR delivers. I’d like to thank you for honoring me with your Climate Leadership Award.” See his statement below.

The Government of Guyana received the 2024 Commitment to Quality Award for serving as a powerful model of high-integrity climate leadership for other countries to follow. From the creation of its broadly consulted Low Carbon Development Strategy in 2009 to the more recent certification and issuance by the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions of the world’s first Paris Agreement-aligned jurisdictional forest carbon credits, Guyana has consistently demonstrated excellence in achieving climate impact, as well as in delivering tangible benefits to communities across the country. As a “High Forest Low Deforestation” country, Guyana is proving to the world that forests can be more valuable when they are left standing.

“In Guyana, we have long believed that progress comes through hard work, partnership and an ambitious vision. We are grateful for this award, which recognizes the work and commitment of thousands of people in communities across Guyana, as well as our professionals, and our national and international partners. Together, we have pursued opportunities to advance the common good of sustainably managing our natural resources. As a result, 99% of Guyana’s forests remain standing, and we maintain one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world. Over 800 projects are advancing across the country financed by our Forest Carbon Credits programme to create better lives and livelihoods. We welcome and look forward to continued inspiration, support and partnerships for the good of all,” said Pradeepa Bholanath, Ministry of Natural Resources of Guyana.

Climate Impact Partners received the 2024 Corporate Excellence Award for its work to deliver climate solutions at a scale necessary to restore a thriving planet. By helping companies achieve their net zero goals through rigorous approaches that include the purchase and retirement of high-quality carbon credits, Climate Impact Partners is a model of excellence. Climate Impact Partners’ work to navigate a complex landscape is helping companies embrace comprehensive and transformational climate action.

“We are delighted to have been recognized for our laser focus on quality in everything we do, which enables us to deliver reliable outcomes. That is how we build trusted partnerships with our clients and our project partners, ensuring they achieve ambitious climate goals and deliver real impact on emission reductions, biodiversity, and community health and livelihoods, right now. Time is of the essence, and we are privileged to work with climate-leading clients all over the world who see the business value in going beyond their internal emission reductions to support the global low carbon transformation,” said Sheri Hickok, CEO of Climate Impact Partners.

Green Assets received the 2024 ACR Innovation Award for the co-development of ACR’s groundbreaking methodology for Active Conservation and Sustainable Management on U.S. Forestlands. Forests capture and store significant amounts of carbon while supporting a stable climate and providing habitat and ecosystem services benefits. Nonetheless, three million acres of U.S. forestland is converted to other land uses each year. Green Assets is demonstrating that carbon markets can be a powerful financial incentive to sustainably manage at-risk forests by executing their unique and trusted approach of “landowners working with landowners.”

“Green Assets is proud to accept ACR’s 2024 Innovation Award for our contribution to the development of the Active Conservation methodology. This methodology enables landowners, businesses, governments, and institutional organizations to make informed decisions and take proactive measures in combating climate change through a robust and effective nature-based mechanism. We are excited to partner with ACR to promote conservation and sustainable forest management throughout the United States,” said Bailey Evans, CEO of Green Assets.

Issued annually, previous winners of the ACR Climate Leadership Award include Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change at the time); Mary Nichols (Chair of the California Air Resources Board at the time); Tom Vilsack (former and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture); Todd Stern (U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change at the time); Paul Hawken (author and founder of Project Drawdown); Jonathan Pershing (Environment Program Director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation) and Frances Seymour (then Senior Scientist at the World Resources Institute and one of the world’s foremost authorities on the relationships between tropical forests and climate change).

ACR is an internationally recognized carbon crediting program that operates in global compliance and voluntary carbon markets. A nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, ACR was founded in 1996 as the first private greenhouse gas (GHG) registry in the world with the mission of harnessing the power of markets to improve the environment. Learn more at ACRclimate.org.