Disney to Invest in 20,000 Acres of Woods in Bethlehem

The media giant is purchasing voluntary carbon credits in Bethlehem starting next summer.

As a way to offset carbon emissions, Disney will invest in 20,000 acres of woods in Bethlehem. The woods surround Bethlehem’s water reservoirs. The Bethlehem Authority started selling carbon credits in 2012; Chevrolet gave the city its first $50,000 check this year.

Disney will invest in Bethlehem from next summer to 2019, at a higher price than the city receives currently. In 2009, Disney announced an attempt to cut carbon emissions, both by investing in renewable and lower-emission energy and by purchasing carbon credits. Such credits are a way, if a company goes over its self-imposed carbon emissions limit, to get back under it.

Last year, Disney offset 457,882 metric tons of greenhouse gases. “Disney is one of the bigger players in the voluntary markets,” Gary Gero, president of Climate Action Reserve in California, told The Morning Call. “There are a few headliners like Google and General Motors, and Disney is right up there as one of the most significant players in the voluntary carbon market.”

The deal is expected to bring in $140,000 to $170,000 annually. The money will go to conservation projects in the woods around the Penn Forest and Wild Creek reservoirs.

[The Morning Call]