B.C. claims carbon neutrality for third consecutive year

B.C. released a report on June 28 that claimed that, for the third consecutive year, it is carbon neutral.

B.C. released a report on June 28 that claimed that, for the third consecutive year, it is carbon neutral.

The government has touted its environmental record despite critics questioning evidence.

Auditor general John Doyle, in March, released An Audit of Carbon Neutral Government, which concluded that the government had not met its objective of achieving a carbon-neutral public sector.

He said that the Crown-owned Pacific Carbon Trust, which was formed to ensure that the province reaches its goal of carbon neutrality, did not purchase credible carbon offsets and that it paid above-market rates for carbon offsets that it did buy.

Doyle was then accused of ignoring evidence and lacking proper expertise to examine the province's carbon trading system.

To be carbon neutral, public-sector organizations reduce emissions as much as possible each year, measure any remainder and purchase an equivalent amount of reductions (offsets) to get to zero.

The B.C. government's commitment to carbon neutrality covers the entire provincial public sector including government offices, schools, post-secondary institutions, Crown corporations and hospitals.

The government claims that, in 2012, the provincial public sector created 845,211 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Of this total, 92,913 tonnes do not require offsetting under regulation, the government said. The total offset investment was $18,807,450 for 752,298 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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