The municipality has approved a climate action budgetary policy which specifically allocates funds for green initiatives in Summerland.
Early this year, a climate action committee was formed with representatives from the community and municipal staff. The committee’s mandate is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through implementing climate actions and recommending climate action account expenditures.
“We are very proud of the progress made by the district in trying to reach the provincial goal of carbon neutrality,” said Mayor Janice Perrino.
For 2013, $30,000 has been set aside.
The municipality has signed on to the Climate Action Charter, committing to be carbon neutral by 2012. Since 2009, Summerland has received $65,000 in funding as a result of signing the charter.
To achieve carbon neutrality, the municipality must purchase carbon offsets from a credible provider or put the money into greenhouse gas reduction projects in their communities. The price of carbon offsets from the Pacific Carbon Trust is $25 per tonne.
Coun. Martin Van Alphen said he is opposed to the purchase of carbon offsets. “It makes absolutely no sense to me,” he said.
The climate action committee cannot spend this money but can only make recommendations to council for green initiatives for the community.
At the municipal level, some initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have included several projects to make existing facilities more energy efficient.