September 11, 2013

GCC Communiqué: Update on Making Progress Towards Carbon Neutrality – September 2013

Source Name
Green Communities Committee

Local Governments from across BC have demonstrated strong leadership in signing on to the Climate Action Charter and committing to work toward reducing GHG emissions and taking actions to make their communities more complete, compact and energy efficient.

Since 2007, the joint Provincial – UBCM Green Communities Committee (GCC), has worked with local governments to assist them in achieving these goals, including developing a common approach for carbon neutrality.

In 2011, the GCC established the Carbon Neutral Framework for BC local governments that included 4 steps: measure, reduce, offset/balance and report. In addition, the GCC supported a ‘making progress toward carbon neutrality’ option under the Framework, which provided that in the short-term, if some local governments were only able to achieve some of the steps to carbon neutrality, they could still demonstrate their overall progress towards this goal. The intent of this approach was to provide some flexibility for those signatories who were uncertain of being able to fully achieve the 2012 carbon neutral target date. The GCC agreed to review local government progress toward carbon neutrality for 2012 and determine at that time if changes to the progress toward option were needed for 2013.

The GCC has completed a preliminary review of local government progress toward carbon neutrality based on the data provided by local government in their 2012 Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) Reports. Close to 20% of reporting local governments achieved carbon neutrality for 2012, and a full 85% are measuring their corporate emissions. Based on this progress it is the GCC’s view that BC local governments are taking their commitment to reduce their corporate emissions seriously and making substantial progress on all of their Climate Action Charter commitments.

Based on the 2012 reporting results GCC has renewed its support of the ‘working towards carbon neutral’ option under the Framework for the 2013 year.

Celebrating Climate Achievements

The GCC would like to congratulate the local governments who have achieved carbon neutrality for the 2012 reporting year. Their impressive demonstration of climate leadership is one that the GCC is pleased to celebrate.

For 2013, the GCC looks forward to continued efforts by all local governments to attain their carbon neutral goal.