Carbon offset cash to go back to hospitals, colleges

The B.C. government is continuing to remake its unpopular "carbon neutral government" program

Health Minister Terry Lake listens as Environment Minister Mary Polak announces changes to carbon neutral government program Tuesday.

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is continuing to remake its unpopular “carbon neutral government” program, expanding a fund to return carbon offset payments to hospitals and post-secondary institutions for energy saving projects.

The new capital fund is an expansion of the “carbon neutral capital program” that was set up for B.C.’s 60 school districts in 2012. The fund is financed via a 2010 law that forces all public sector entities to pay $25 per tonne for greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.

Environment Minister Mary Polak announced Tuesday that carbon offsets from health authorities, colleges and universities will be added to the school capital fund, which districts apply to with energy saving ideas such as insulation or boiler replacement.

The carbon neutral government plan was controversial from the start, as school and health districts had to divert millions from their budgets to offset their heating, lighting and transportation emissions.

Its popularity didn’t improve when the first big carbon offsets chosen by the Pacific Carbon Trust included a gas well flare reduction program for Encana Corp. in northern B.C.

Then B.C.’s Auditor General reported that the flaring project and a forest preserve in the Kootenays were not valid carbon offsets, because both were underway before carbon offset money was offered to help them. The Pacific Carbon Trust was wound up last year, with offsets chosen by small group in the environment ministry.

The education ministry also announced Tuesday its latest energy saving project funded in 28 school districts. They include boiler replacements, heat pumps and electric cars. School bus emissions have been exempted from the carbon neutral government program since the beginning.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heavy rainfall warning

Rainfall expected to exceed 100 mm in North Coast and Kitimat regions

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

“We do want to be involved and engaged and approachable”: Kitimat RCMP gets new detachment commander

Staff Sgt. Morgan previously worked at the Kitimat RCMP from May 2014 to May 2018

COLUMN: “It’s going to be very painful”: my experience getting tested for COVID-19

While it’s definitely not a comfortable experience, it’s better than being put on a ventilator

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

B.C.’s fuel suppliers to publish prices to provide accountability: minister

Bruce Ralston says move will ensure industry publicly accountable for unexplained prices increases

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Most Read