The British Columbia Government’s Climate Action Plan will soon be providing new opportunities to organizations and entrepreneurs interested in undertaking environmental “carbon offset” projects. Carbon offsets are projects that reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere in order to counteract global warming. The economic concept behind carbon offsets is that businesses and organizations purchase “carbon credits” generated by the projects to cancel out their own carbon emissions. Businesses usually purchase carbon credits in order to improve public relations or meet regulatory standards.
The Provincial Government created the Pacific Carbon Trust as a crown corporation to facilitate the carbon offset aspect of its Green Economy Initiative. In particular, the Trust was created to serve the needs of British Columbia Government ministries, all of which will be required to offset their carbon emission by 2010 under the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Targets Act. The Trust will purchase carbon credits from private suppliers and then sell them to government ministries and businesses.
The Trust recently asked potential carbon offset suppliers to provide information on the kinds of projects they would create and market to the Trust. The Trust expressed particularly strong interest in forestry projects that aim to offset carbon emissions by increasing tree density. All offset projects marketed to the Trust must be based in British Columbia. The Trust plans to purchase carbon credits from offset suppliers by the end of 2009 and will publish a detailed guide on how to submit project proposals to the Trust in July.
Stay tuned to the Megawatt blog for more on the Pacific Carbon Trust and other carbon offset opportunities.