B.C. municipalities are required to be carbon neutral as of this year, and since it is “physically impossible” for Parksville not to produce any greenhouse gases to meet the provincial mandate, they are looking at carbon offset options.
Under the Climate Action Charter municipalities can buy carbon offsets with the Pacific Carbon Trust for $25 per ton, meaning an annual cost of $11,000 for Parksville, described as “relatively minor” by the staff report to council.
Instead of sending that money to the provincial trust, to be spent on a project anywhere in B.C., Parksville starting a local version along with Nanaimo, Lantzville, Qualicum Beach and the regional district.
Pooling their required offsets will generate $231,000 a year for green house gas reducing projects within the region.
The Regional Emission Reduction for Carbon Neutral Operations, Memorandum of Agreement has already been endorsed by the RDN board and Parksville council added their endorsement at Monday night’s meeting.
Several councillors crumbled about having to pay it at all, since the emissions generated by running city buildings and vehicles can’t be eliminated.
Mayor Chris Burger agreed it was in effect a green tax but at least this option allows them to keep the money somewhat local.