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National Aquarium Commits to Achieving Net-Zero Greenhouse Emissions by 2035

The National Aquarium will tackle the urgent issue of global climate change by committing to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The National Aquarium is committing to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. The 13-year initiative will tackle the urgent issue of global climate change.

In line with the Aquarium's Conservation Action Plan, which includes efforts to combat climate change, there is an extensive action plan to achieve this goal. Internally, the nonprofit will increase energy conservation measures, invest in renewable energy, electrify its fleet and infrastructure, and take advantage of emerging technologies to increase use of its on-site renewable energy—including on-site solar power.

The Aquarium will also extend its ongoing efforts outward, by educating guests through exhibits and public engagement and education programs, training staff and partners on how to discuss climate change messaging and caring for the animals and ecosystems directly impacted by climate change. The Aquarium will continue to advocate for strong climate change and climate justice policies at the city, state and federal level, as well as holding others accountable to their net-zero goals.

"Committing to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is a necessary step in helping the National Aquarium fulfill its Conservation Action Plan by combatting climate change," said Jennifer Driban, SVP and chief mission officer of the National Aquarium. "While the challenges ahead may seem daunting, the rewards-including a cleaner, more sustainable ocean planet for future generations—are worth the effort. As we celebrate Earth Day today, we are proud to share this announcement and will provide updates on our progress at aqua.org, inviting the community to join us on this journey."

Work to reach this goal has already begun. In 2015, in partnership with Constellation, the Aquarium invested in significant energy conservation measures, which helped upgrade operations in order to save energy. Between these measures and additional investments in renewable energy, emissions have dropped by 31% since 2010. Additionally, renewable energy contributions are equal to approximately 40% of the Aquarium's total electricity use. The emissions impact is measured based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the goal aligns with guidance from the Science Based Target Initiative. There are strict rules on what the Aquarium can and cannot do to reduce its carbon footprint. Most notably, it cannot use carbon offsets for more than 10% of its emissions.

The National Aquarium is excited to take this monumental step in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions alongside 24 members of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership. Together, these institutions will work together to leverage their outstanding legacy of leadership in conservation, science, communication, and education to realize climate solutions.

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