Kootenay communities work together to go carbon neutral

Eleven local governments are the first to sign on to meeting their carbon neutral commitment together

  • Dec. 11, 2012 10:00 a.m.


Eleven local governments are the first to sign on to meeting their carbon neutral commitment together through the joint procurement of kootenay-based offsets. The first to commit are the Regional Districts of Central Kootenay (RDCK), Kootenay-Boundary (RDKB), and East Kootenay (RDEK), and the municipalities of Fruitvale, Kaslo, Trail, Midway, Slocan, Rossland, Greenwood and Invermere. More local governments are expected to sign on to this initiative in the coming weeks.

By working together over the last four years, local governments across the Columbia Basin and Boundary areas are estimated to have saved up to $750,000 on energy in their own operations. By buying Kootenay-based offsets together, the local governments will save again while keeping the investment in the region.

“The RDKB’s commitment to acting responsibly is clear. We are saving energy, emissions, and money in our operations through actions such as retrofits. We are piloting approaches to save emissions in our communities such as organics diversion,” says RDKB Board Chair Larry Gray, adding, “Becoming carbon neutral is one part of that commitment.”

“While it is not realistic for us to completely eliminate fossil fuels from our operations, we can take responsibility for reducing our emissions and keep those investments in the Kootenays,” says RDCK Board Chair John Kettle, referring to the purchase of carbon offsets.

“Becoming carbon neutral is an important milestone and reaffirms our collective commitment to take responsibility and to take action on climate change,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.

“Congratulations for the leadership shown by these local governments on working together to take tangible actions on climate change,” says Neil Muth, CBT President and CEO. “We are pleased to support these efforts and applaud the regional districts for their innovative approach to buying Kootenay-based offsets.”

Local governments voluntarily signed BC’s Climate Action Charter and have committed to becoming carbon neutral in their operations by 2012. Here in the Columbia Basin, a multi-year effort known as the Carbon Neutral Kootenays (CNK) project is supporting local governments and First Nations that are working towards becoming carbon neutral. CNK is funded jointly by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and the Regional Districts of Central Kootenay, East Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary.