Published On: Friday, 22 January 2016

BC 'Leads By Example' With Carbon Neutral Strategy

BC 'Leads By Example' With Carbon Neutral Strategy
Since 2010, British Columbia has achieved carbon neutrality across its provincial public sector – the first North American jurisdiction to do so.

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BC -  “Leading by Example – The First Five Years of Carbon Neutral Government in British Columbia”, a new report showcasing the Province’s first five years of carbon neutral government leadership is now available online.

The report promotes the first five years of B.C.’s carbon neutral government program, demonstrates how the province’s public sector has built capacity, supported new projects, and encouraged the development and adoption of clean technology.

“B.C.’s achievement of carbon neutral government five years in a row is an unprecedented accomplishment," says Mary Polak, Minister of Environment. "The province’s public sector has made great achievements. Big and small organizations are piloting new technologies, developing innovative approaches and assembling an invaluable data collection system. I applaud businesses for taking actions needed to achieve carbon neutrality, keeping B.C. a climate action leader.”

Since the carbon neutral government program began in 2008, the Province has invested $53.4 million to purchase 4.5 million tonnes of offsets. Also, capital expenditures made by offset projects contributed a total of $248.2 million to the B.C. gross domestic product and created 2,903 jobs measured in person-years.

In 2015, British Columbia’s 131 provincial public sector organizations generated 46,000 tonnes fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to the baseline year of 2010; a reduction equivalent to the emissions produced by 9,800 cars in one year.

“Over the past five years we have shown counting the cost of carbon pollution is good for both the environment and the economy," says Jordan Sturdy, Parliamentary Secretary for Energy Literacy and the Environment for the Minister of Environment. "As the first jurisdiction in North America to legislate, regulate and administer a carbon neutral government program, British Columbia is proving, day by day, that our actions are making a difference. I look forward to hearing many more success stories as we move towards a decade of carbon neutrality for the Province of B.C.”

Also available online is the “Economic Impacts Analysis of British Columbia’s Carbon Offset Projects” report, which outlines the balance between the province’s environmental protection and economic benefits resulting from investments in offset projects.

Clean energy is the basis of a green economy and supports the Provinces’ new #BCTECH Strategy to spur adoption of clean technologies.

Quick Facts:

  • B.C. remains the only carbon neutral province, territory or state on the continent.
  • In British Columbia, all hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, Crown corporations, and government ministries and agencies have been carbon neutral for their operations since 2010 for their paper, fleet and building emissions.
  • Government ministries and agencies are also carbon neutral for their business travel.
  • To become carbon neutral, an organization, business or government measures its carbon footprint, reduces that footprint as much as possible each fiscal year, offsets any emissions that cannot be reduced and reports on greenhouse gas emissions.