House Leaders Launch Green Delegate Challenge

Posted April 7, 2008 at 6:34pm

Pitching the effort as “a fun way” for delegates to lead by example, Democratic Party leaders on Monday announced that the Denver convention will “go green” and challenged delegates to commit to offsetting their carbon footprint from attending the event.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and convention organizers are promoting a new initiative, the Green Delegate Challenge, that will offer rewards for state delegations that demonstrate the highest level of commitment to offsetting their carbon footprint from attending the convention, to be held Aug. 25-28.

As part of the challenge, delegations with the highest percentage of members offsetting their footprint will be recognized in their seating section on the floor during the convention. Each delegate, alternate and superdelegate from that state will also receive a limited edition “green” prize to be announced at a later date.

Pelosi pledged to help make this year’s convention “the greenest, most sustainable, most successful political convention in history—and the Green Delegate Challenge is a critical part of that effort.”

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said the effort reflects “the spirit of the Rocky Mountain West.”

Progress will be tracked on the convention Web site, with the winning state or states recognized on the site in August. Any delegates who offset their travel will receive a wearable “green item” for the week and be recognized individually on the convention Web site.

Democratic National Convention Committee CEO Leah Daughtry said she hopes the challenge will “kick off a healthy competition among the states” to see who can make the most significant contribution.

Delegates will have the option of obtaining carbon offsets from a mix of community-based projects, including the Wray School District wind turbine in Wray, Colo.; a Focus the Nation wind turbine in Rosedell Township, Minn.; a family dairy farm methane project in Rockwood, Pa.; and the Des Plaines, Ill., Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project.

To be identified as a “green delegate,” delegates must obtain and present their offsets prior to Aug. 1.