Carbon Trust shunned by council

Council considering asking Premier to repeal the B.C. Carbon Trust

Coun. Andy Adams wants city council to send a letter to the premier requesting an end to an emissions reduction program that penalizes communities that don’t meet carbon neutrality targets.

Adams was expected to put a motion before council at its Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday endorsing the mayor to send a letter to Premier Christy Clark recommending the immediate repeal of the B.C. Carbon Tax. Adams also wants city staff to draw up motion supporting the repeal of the Carbon Trust to be presented at next year’s Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) meeting and the 2014 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention.

The Carbon Trust was introduced in 2008 alongside the Carbon Tax and unlike the latter, the Carbon Trust has recently been called into question.

“While the Carbon Tax has been extremely successful, and recently applauded by the naysayers across the country, the B.C. Carbon Trust has not,” Adams wrote in a report to council. “The B.C. Carbon Trust has been seen as a punitive initiative to the public sectors that are mandated to pay for carbon offsets out of existing operating budgets while the private sector are not required to participate and do not contribute at all.”

Adams said that last year public sector institutions, such as local governments and hospitals, paid $18.8 million into the B.C. Carbon Trust.

“The city of Campbell River was forced to allocate $40,000 out of the 2013 budget, which equates to a 0.3 per cent increase to residential taxpayers,” Adams said.

The Carbon Trust is part of an effort by the provincial government to be carbon neutral. Under the program, B.C. communities are required to purchase carbon offsets to counter their greenhouse gas emissions.