Since 2007, the joint Provincial – UBCM Green Communities Committee (GCC) has worked with local governments to assist them in achieving these goals, including developing a common approach for carbon neutrality.
In 2011, the GCC established the Carbon Neutral Framework for BC local governments that includes four steps: measure, reduce, offset/balance and report. In addition, the GCC supported a ‘making progress towards carbon neutrality’ option under the Framework, which enabled local governments that were only able to achieve some of the steps to carbon neutrality to still demonstrate their overall progress towards this goal.
The intent of this approach was to provide some flexibility for those signatories who were uncertain of being able to fully achieve carbon neutrality.
Since endorsing the progress towards option, the GCC has annually reviewed local government progress towards carbon neutrality based on the data in local governments’ Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) Reports.
The GCC’s review of the 2013 CARIP reports revealed that local governments are once again continuing to demonstrate leadership in taking action and making substantial progress towards reducing their corporate and community-wide emissions: 21% of reporting local governments achieved carbon neutral status in 2013 and 92% measured their corporate emissions.
Together these local governments reported on a wide-range of community-wide reduction projects, such as implementing innovative approaches to encourage walking and cycling and undertaking feasibility studies on landfill gas capture systems.
Based on the 2013 reporting results, the GCC has renewed its support of the “making progress towards carbon neutral” option under the Framework for the year 2014 and onwards subject to GCC’s annual review of local government progress.