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Bill McKibben joins the Keeling Curve Prize organization's board

One of the world's most influential environmentalists, Bill McKibben, has joined the board of the Global Warming Mitigation Project, which runs the annual Keeling Curve Prize competition. The prize awards $25,000 apiece to 10 projects around the world with significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon uptake. The application deadline for this year's competition is February 10.

The Keeling Curve Prize is named after scientist Charles David Keeling's iconic graph showing an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere since the 1950s. Last year, the graph showed carbon dioxide emissions topping 415 parts per million (ppm) – the highest levels ever recorded.

McKibben co-founded the international environmental organization 350.org, which is named after a Keeling Curve measurement of 350 ppm. Scientists consider 350 ppm the recommended upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"I am pleased to join the board of the Global Warming Mitigation Project," McKibben said. "The project's signature initiative, the Keeling Curve Prize, shares the same mission as 350.org, which is to bend the Keeling Curve to safer levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide for humans and current ecosystems to survive."

The 2020 Keeling Curve Prize will award $25,000 to each of two projects in the categories of:

  • Capture & Utilization
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Social & Cultural Pathways
  • Transport & Mobility

"Bill McKibben is joining the board as we begin to grow. The foundation of the Keeling Curve Prize has been established, and now is the time to rapidly scale the organization and further boost the winners' profiles. Bill is the perfect person to help us take this important step," said Jacquelyn Francis, director of the Global Warming Mitigation Project and executive director of the Keeling Curve Prize.

Keeling Curve Prize applications are screened by analysts, and winners are chosen by a panel of esteemed climate scientists and policy experts, including Achala Abeysinghe, Ph.D., of the International Institute for Environment and Development; Brenda Ekwurzel, Ph.D., of the Union of Concerned Scientists; Lucas Joppa, Ph.D., of Microsoft; George Polk of Tulum Trust; and Jonathan Silver of Tax Equity Advisors, LLC.

The straightforward application for the 2020 Keeling Curve Prize can be found here. The deadline is February 10, 2020 or upon the receipt of 300 applications, whichever comes first. Finalists will be named at the Earth Optimism Summit in Washington in April. Winners will be announced at a ceremony this summer.

McKibben is the winner of environmental prizes himself, including the Gandhi Prize, the Thomas Merton Prize, and the Right Livelihood Prize, which is sometimes called the "Alternative Nobel." He wrote The End of Nature, which is considered the first book on climate change for a general audience and has appeared in 24 languages. McKibben is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities.

Media Contact:Carina Daniels

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