B.C. Cities commit to Carbon Neutrality by 2012
“Our government is committed to taking action on climate change and, by working in partnership with local governments, we will be more effective in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” Premier Gordon Campbell said today, as he joined with UBCM president Brenda Binnie to sign a memorandum of understanding with the goal of local governments becoming carbon neutral over the next five years.
“By signing the BC Climate Action Charter today, we are taking a key step toward improving the quality of life for our residents and communities tomorrow.”
Sixty-two communities signed the Charter during Wednesday’s UBCM session in Vancouver. In addition to a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2012, local governments pledged to measure and report on their community’s greenhouse gas emissions profile and work to create compact, more energy efficient communities.
Regional district boards and municipal councils across the province have been considering adoption of the agreement’s goals over the two weeks leading up to convention and it is expected more communities will sign on in the coming weeks.
“Local governments have provided a fast, positive response to the Premier’s invitation to sign on to the BC Climate Action Charter,” said Binnie. “The challenges posed by climate change require intergovernmental partnerships at all levels, so we anticipate many more signatories in the near future.”
Carbon neutrality involves measuring the greenhouse gas emissions that come from government operations such as buildings and fleet vehicles and then reducing those emissions to net zero. Governments achieve carbon neutrality by reducing emissions where possible, by purchasing carbon offsets to compensate for its greenhouse gas emissions or by developing projects to offset emissions. Such projects may include converting to energy efficient buildings and replacing old fleet vehicles and buses with hybrids.
UBCM and the provincial government will establish a Joint Provincial-UBCM Green Communities committee and Green Communities Working Groups to define a range of actions that can affect climate change, build local government capacity to plan and implement climate change initiatives, support local governments in taking actions to make their own operations carbon neutral by 2012, and share information to support climate change activities.
To view a copy of the BC Climate Action Charter, visit here.
For More Information: Government of British Columbia