The District of Mission will not meet its provincially-mandated goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2012 without purchasing carbon offsets, but it’s unclear what penalties, if any, would result if it fails to buy them.
According to a report produced at council Monday, if Mission did nothing to reduce its carbon emissions further, it would in theory be required to buy offsets at a cost of between $25,000 to $62,500 each year, though there’s no money budgeted for this.
Mission is one of 179 B.C. municipalities signatory to the Climate Action Charter, the brainchild of former premier Gordon Campbell. But now that the leadership of the province has changed, council is openly wondering if the government of the day will still push for all 179 municipalities to meet the 2012 goal.
Coun. Paul Horn moved that council write letters to the province and the Union of B.C. Municipalities asking for clarity surrounding the consequences of not meeting targets by purchasing offsets, which council is reluctant to do since that money leaves the district permanently.
“We can’t do anything until we find out what we can do, or have to do,” said Coun. Heather Stewart.
If Mission is forced to meet the 2012 commitment, the district will look into getting the garbage rot pots recognized as carbon offsets, and begin building a carbon offset reserve fund with the $30,000 annual rebate received from the provincial carbon tax.