As a result of the outreach, seven additional organizations were made carbon neutral from locally sourced community carbon credits in 2015.
Since 2007, the majority of BC local governments have voluntarily signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter, a commitment to carbon neutrality. While these communities are implementing strategies to become carbon neutral, several have had to purchase carbon offsets. These purchases have resulted in local money being used to purchase carbon offsets outside the local area, and even outside of Canada. In most communities, local carbon offset projects have not been available due to lack of knowledge and cost barriers.
The Community Carbon Marketplace put forward by Cowichan Energy Alternatives will establish a place where carbon credits could be purchased by municipal governments, businesses and individuals from local sustainability initiatives. The project activities include a significant outreach and education program, support for communities wishing to establish a local carbon marketplace and support for organizations and businesses wishing to assess their carbon footprint or assess their operations or special project for the sale of carbon credits in the marketplace. The initiative will help direct and continue the circulation of dollars in the community investing in long-term energy resilience, green jobs and development of a low-carbon economy.
Completed in January 2016, the project works to direct offset dollars back into communities where they originated and monetize locally-generated carbon credits to create additional value for greenhouse gas reducing initiatives. This foundation will support the growth of a local economy and help build community resilience while further encouraging reducing carbon footprints.