Trail council keeps carbon neutral funds in reserves

“Council has an ongoing commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said David Perehudoff, chief administrative officer.

The City of Trail has voted to save instead of purchase, carbon offset credits that is.

On Monday night, Trail council adopted the Climate Action Reserve Fund bylaw, which allots $30,000 to be transferred into a reserve fund for 2013.

“Council has an ongoing commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said David Perehudoff, chief administrative officer.

“This is a funding source for the city to use when future carbon reducing projects are identified.”

Initially in its 2013 budget, the city earmarked those funds to purchase carbon offsets through the Carbon Neutral Kootenays (CNK) for the Darkwoods projects, a nature conservancy program in B.C.’s Selkirk Mountains.

However, earlier this year B.C.’s auditor general, John Doyle, said in a report that the carbon offsets program was “not credible” in achieving the province’s carbon neutral government initiative.

Doyle’s scathing review of carbon offset purchases included the Carbon Neutral Kootenays (CNK) consortium and its association with the Darkwoods project.

“The decision to proceed with the Reserve Fund followed communication from CNK and its review which indicated that they were no longer recommending the purchase of carbon credits,” explained Perehudoff.

Council agreed that they would no longer support the purchase of carbon credits in support of the Darkwoods Project or any other carbon sinks at this time, he said.

In 2012, the city purchased $30,487 in carbon offsets at a reduced rate through CNK.

Earlier this year, CNK had recommended the purchase of offsets in support of the Darkwoods project at a maximum cost of $25 per tonne, which translated to $31,850.

Carbon offsetting refers to paying others to remove carbon dioxide emitted from the atmosphere, for example by planting trees or by funding carbon projects that should lead to the prevention of future greenhouse gas emissions.