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Aquarium Joins Pledge to Achieve Climate Neutrality

Members of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership will inventory greenhouse gas emissions and develop emission reduction goals and timelines with a long-term goal of achieving climate neutrality.

Aquarium view from the Harbor

© Tom Bonner 2019

April 22, 2022

On April 22, 2022—Earth Day—members of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership including the Aquarium of the Pacific announced their first step in achieving their long-term goal of climate neutrality.

“We are pleased to join with two dozen other aquariums in the United States in announcing a commitment to reach climate neutrality,” Aquarium President and CEO Dr. Peter Kareiva said. “Climate change affects us all—but most of all the vulnerable who cannot afford air conditioning, or coastal communities whose very homes risk being washed away. Our mission is ocean stewardship, and climate change is the greatest global threat to marine life. It has caused unprecedented heat waves that have led to massive die-offs of shellfish. The emissions that are overheating the planet also cause ocean acidification, which is putting coral reefs around the world at risk. We cannot just leave it up to government regulations or investments in renewables. We have to do our bit. To that end, the Aquarium of the Pacific will be continuing and expanding its efforts to become an aquarium that is part of the solution by achieving carbon neutrality.”

Businesses pursuing carbon neutrality commonly measure greenhouse gas emissions as Scope 1, Scope 2, or Scope 3 emissions as defined by the GHG Protocol. Scope 1 emissions are associated with sources controlled or owned by the organization, such as furnaces or vehicles. Scope 2 emissions include indirect emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling. Scope 3 emissions include all other indirect emissions, such as emissions associated with employee commutes, purchased goods and services, etc.

In the agreement announced on April 22 the ACP member aquariums commit to completing inventories of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, determining a timeline for completing Scope 3 emissions, and determining carbon neutrality goals and timelines by April 2023. By April 2024 the aquariums will develop an emissions reduction plan and timeline. On an annual basis aquariums will measure and report emissions, share and implement strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from operations and remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

The Aquarium has tracked its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for the past sixteen years and recently started the process to track Scope 3 emissions. Joining with the ACP member aquariums in formalizing this commitment helps amplify the impact of this effort.