Independent MLA says it time to abandon “carbon neutral government”

Opinion editorial from independent MLA says carbon offset taxes should be removed

 

The independent MLA for Cariboo North, Bob Simpson, is calling for the Pacific Carbon Trust’s accrued earnings, amounting to over $20 million, be returned to the public sector and calling for the end of clawing money back from cash strapped public agencies in order to achieve the highly questionable claim of “carbon neutral government.” To that end, he tabled last week the Carbon Neutral Government Repeal Act 2011; a bill designed to remove the requirement for public sector organizations (PSOs) to purchase carbon offsets for their greenhouse gas emissions.

“The current Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act does little to reduce B.C.’s overall greenhouse gas emissions,” continued Simpson. “In fact it creates a dangerous smokescreen by allowing the government to pat itself on the back for supposedly “neutralizing” less than one per cent of B.C. greenhouse gases, while at the same time not taking deliberate steps to decrease the other 99 per cent of emissions.”

The independent MLA’s Private Member’s Bill repeals the portions of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act that refer to carbon neutrality for government as a necessary first step to end the practice of robbing money from cash-strapped public agencies and giving the money to private sector companies to reduce their emissions. Simpson is also calling on the government to provide funds to the public sector to invest in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions starting with the over $20 million dollars that the Pacific Carbon Trust holds in retained earnings.

“The PCT’s accrued earnings have been taken from public agencies and are not needed for the operation of the trust. This money should be taken back by the finance minister and applied to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects in the public sector,” said Simpson.

Simpson’s bill requires public sector organizations to develop carbon reduction action plans and report on the actions taken to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in each reporting year, as well as including their continuing plans for reducing emissions.

 

“Financing and requiring the public sector to report on their GHG reduction plans is a much more constructive way to address this one per cent of B.C.’s emissions than taxing cash-strapped operating budgets and giving the money to questionable private sector projects,” Simpson said.

 

– Bob Simpson, MLA Caribou North

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