Greenhouse reduction study presented to council


Photo: Director of Infrastructure and Capital Works, Victor Shopland, presents the study to City Council on Monday evening – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

 

By Christine Rumleskie

 

 

Fort St. John City Council is learning what it will take for the City to become carbon neutral by 2012.

Director of Infrastructure and Capital Works Victor Shopland presented a Corporate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and Energy Study to City Council on Monday evening.

The purpose of the study was to determine the amount of GHG emissions the City emits in a year. The findings indicate that in 2008, City Hall alone emitted around 200 tonnes of GHG. Community Recreation facilities emitted around 650 tonnes of CO2, and that’s not including the Enerplex.

Traffic signals and lighting were the lowest emitters, pumping around 25 tonnes into the atmosphere in 2008.

There are two main reasons why the city wants to reduce its carbon footprint.

Last year, the Province introduced Bill 27, which requires all municipalities to report their greenhouse gas reduction targets, policies and actions, as part of the Official Community Plan by May 31st 2010.

And, the City is one of 175 municipalities that have voluntarily signed on to the Climate Action Charter, putting more pressure on the city to reduce its GHG emissions.

There are a couple of ways to become carbon neutral, including cutting down on emissions and paying for carbon reduction initiatives, like tree planting.

If the City wanted to offset its current emissions, it would cost around $52,000 per year.

That money would go into the Pacific Carbon Trust, and in theory, return to the Peace Region in the form of tree seedlings or other offset initiatives.

However, the Peace River Regional District is looking into establishing a local Carbon Trust that would ensure all funds paid by Peace River municipalities would stay in the northeast.

The city hasn’t decided yet if it will pay into the carbon tax program, but it has taken a number of steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

Among numerous studies, the city has established a Community Energy and Emissions Plan, a Corporate Anti-idling initiative, and a LEED Certification Policy on the construction of municipal buildings.