Regional District considers offsetting its carbon footprint


Photo:  Director Mike Bernier (foreground) discusses the carbon-neutral plan at Friday afternoon’s meeting in Fort St. John, as Director Lyman Clark (middle) and Director Lori Ackerman listen in – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

The Peace River Regional District learned just how much it would cost to become carbon neutral.

Cariad Garratt is the project manager for Vancouver-based Santec Consulting. She discussed a Corporate Energy Plan with the regional board at the district meeting on Friday afternoon.

Garratt says the Regional District’s buildings and vehicles emit around 221 tonnes of CO2 -per year – into the atmosphere.

She says some of the recreation centers in the PRRD’s care are to blame for that number.

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The project’s goal is to get the Regional District’s Carbon emissions as low as possible by 2012.

Then, the District could voluntarily pay to become carbon-neutral by financing projects that either sequester or reduce CO2. That could include anything from financing tree planting or wind farm construction.

Garratt says prices for carbon-neutral projects should inflate to around $25 per tonne by 2012. She says if the PRRD reduces its emissions by 25-30 tonnes, it will still need to pay more than $5,000 to offset its carbon footprint.

But, she says a provincial rebate of $30 per tonne will actually make the program a profit to the PRRD.

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Garratt’s report states that in order to the target of reducing corporate emissions by 15%, the Regional District will need to fund building upgrades of approximately $100,000.

The Regional District did not commit to any agreement at Friday’s meeting. Director Mike Bernier suggested that the board continue to investigate carbon-neutral options.