Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) directors have set aside $19,000 specifically for green initiatives this year.
The 13-member panel allocated the money to the RDKB Climate Action Reserve coffer at their June board meeting, to help offset corporate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 755 tonnes for the 2018 fiscal year.
Funds will be used for local energy reduction projects, operational reviews and/or audits of energy intensive services, or to invest in future capital infrastructure projects to reduce carbon emissions.
The regional district reports it has reduced CO2 emissions by 33 percent since 2012, with further decreases expected in the coming years as organics are diverted from landfills to composting facilities across the region.
The reserve fund is a requirement of the provincial Climate Action Reporting Incentive Program (CARIP). This program provides grants to offset the carbon tax paid by local governments committed to becoming carbon neutral within their corporate operations under the BC Climate Action Charter.
The regional district is now recognized as having achieved Level 3 in the provincial program, as the district works toward achieving carbon neutrality.
This means the regional district is eligible to receive annual CARIP revenues for future years.
The BC Climate Action Charter is a voluntary agreement between the province, the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), and each local government signatory to take action on climate change.
The charter was launched at the 2007 UBCM Convention. Since then, almost every local government in B.C.—187 of 190 municipalities, regional districts and the Islands Trust—has signed on.