BC Environmentalists Agree With CTF: The Pacific Carbon Trust Stinks!
Even environmentalists are unhappy with BC’s Pacific Carbon Trust, which vacuums taxpayer dollars out of government agencies ($19.4 million worth!) and deposits them in the pockets of corporations, all in the name of “carbon credits.”
Readers may recall that last week we blogged that BC School Districts took $4.4 million out of the classroom and paid the Pacific Carbon Trust in order for schools to be “carbon neutral.” Indeed, according to PCT’s own numbers, 776,026 of the 783,816 tonnes of carbon dioxide credits came from government agencies—your tax dollars. That’s 99% of the total work done. At the going rate of $25 a tonne, government agencies contribute $19.4 million to the PCT.
At least two prominent BC environmentalists are also questioning the PCT. First came Mark Jaccard, architect of the BC carbon tax and professor of sustainable energy at Simon Fraser University, who wrote in the July 21 Vancouver Sun:
“A carbon neutral public sector diverts money from useful programs and does not improve the environment… B.C.'s policy of a carbon neutral public sector has the perverse effect of diverting our tax dollars from schools and hospitals to purchase offsets from profitable companies like EnCana in order to subsidize their investments to reduce greenhouse gases. This is both economically inefficient and unfair.”
Today, in The Province, Ben Parfitt of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, went further:
“By government fiat, public entities -including cash-starved school districts and health boards - must report their greenhouse gas emissions. The emissions are then allegedly wiped away through ‘high quality’ offsets purchased by PCT from entities ranging from environmental organizations to continental energy industry giants like EnCana Corp., and then sold by PCT at often highly inflated prices to its captive public sector clients.
A case in point occurred in June when PCT paid the Nature Conservancy of Canada to - hold on to your hats - conserve forests. For this alleged ‘innovation,’ PCT paid NCC about $2.3 million.
PCT then charged schools, hospitals and the like roughly $10 million for the credits, representing a tidy mark-up of more than 400 per cent. (The estimates are based on a published price for all credits sold by NCC and PCT's published charge to its clients of $25 per credit.)”
It’s time for the BC Government to quit gouging its own taxpayers and scrap the Pacific Carbon Trust. Even the environmentalists think so.