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.

 

Just Posted

Victorian makes gridlock fun with traffic bingo

How far into your drive before you yell BINGO?

Commuter Challenge proves biking to work was the faster option on Wednesday

Greater Victoria teams raced from across the region to a downtown finish line

BC Ferries asks boaters to learn signals and be careful around ferries

BC Ferries responded to 15 marine emergencies in 2018

Greater Victoria residents among the most credit-worthy Canadians

Yet debt levels continue to rise as Canadians owe $178 for every $100 earned

VIDEO: Journey of SD62 Aboriginal graduates recognized at ceremony

‘Enriching and empowering’ ceremony encourages students to hold onto their identities

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the Okanagan

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Most Read