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The Pacific Carbon Trust

Posted on 14 May 2011

Below are a series of interviews on both Daybreak North and Daybreak South surrounding a recent announcement from the Pacific Carbon Trust. I was involved in setting up all of the Daybreak North interviews and helped with the Daybreak South ones.

The stories came out of an announcement on May 5 that the Carbon Trust had “purchased 84,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission offsets from the natural gas developer Encana Corporation – a reduction equivalent to taking about 22,050 cars off the road for one year.”

The problem is that not everyone likes where the Carbon Trust gets its funding. The Prince George Citizen reported back in February that “the Northern Interior branch of the B.C. School Trustees Association [had] passed a resolution calling on Victoria to ensure public funds paid to the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) are used to fund public projects only.” School boards had raised issues, as had health authorities.

The issue stems from the fact that the Trust is a provincial crown corporation whose major client is the public sector. School boards, health authorities and other public bodies are  required to be carbon neutral for 2010, and any emissions over zero (with some exceptions) are to be offset by them paying $25 a tonne into the Pacific Carbon Trust. The Trust then buys offsets from the private sector, including a variety of hotels, spas, and a cement plant.

The difficulty in putting these stories together for breakfast radio is you have a limited amount of time, and people are listening while distracted. As soon as you start talking financing structure and carbon offset tonnes, there’s a good chance they’ll tune out rather than try to piece it together. I’m happy with what came out of it and hope people with a stake (which is basically everyone in the province) are able to learn more about this issue. It’s somewhat complex, but important.

I’d also like to note that I’m not taking a stance on this, just presenting the interviews. As always, here’s my disclaimer.

[audio:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/29153527/Pacific%20Carbon%20Trust%20CEO%20%20D.%20Scott%20MacDonald%20on%20Daybreak%20North%20on%20May%206%202011.mp3]
Pacific Carbon Trust CEO D. Scott MacDonald on Daybreak North, May 6, 2011

[audio:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/29153527/Independent%20MLA%20Bob%20Simpson%20on%20Daybreak%20North%20May%209%202011.mp3]
Independent MLA Bob Simpson on Daybreak North, May 9, 2011

[audio:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/29153527/BC%20School%20Trustees%20Association%20President%20Michael%20McEvoy%20on%20Daybreak%20South%20May%209%202011.mp3]
BC School Trustees Association President Michael McEvoy on Daybreak South, May 9, 2011

[audio:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/29153527/BC%20Environment%20Minister%20Terry%20Lake%20on%20Daybreak%20North%20May%2011%202011.mp3]
BC Environment Minister Terry Lake on Daybreak North, May 11, 2011

[audio:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/29153527/BC%20Environment%20Minister%20Terry%20Lake%20on%20Daybreak%20South%20May%2011%202011.mp3]
BC Environment Minister Terry Lake on Daybreak South, May 11, 2011

Filed under: British Columbia, politics

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