Corporate Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory and Reduction Strategy
Greenhouse gases that accumulate in the earth’s atmosphere act as a blanket which prevents the sun’s heat from escaping. While these gases are necessary for life to exist on earth, an increase in greenhouse gases in the last century has resulted in a trend toward global warming. As a result, countries around the world are creating policies and examining methodologies to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and to create a low carbon society, reducing the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities administers the Partners for Climate Protection Program that sets a five milestone approach to measure greenhouse gas emissions and take action to reduce energy consumption and emissions. The five milestones are:
- Create a greenhouse gas inventory and forecast.
- Set an emission reduction target.
- Develop a local action plan that outlines how emissions and energy use will be reduced.
- Implement the action plan.
- Monitor progress and report results.
The program is part of the ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) Local Governments for Sustainability, Cities for Climate Protection Network, which involves more than 900 communities worldwide. The City of Revelstoke became a member of the Partners for Climate Protection Program in 2006.
The Government of British Columbia has also implemented legislation, policies and actions to address climate change. One of the actions at the municipal level was to create the voluntary Climate Action Charter and a joint Provincial Government –UBCM Green Communities Committee to support local governments in planning and implementing climate change initiatives. The Climate Action Charter commits signatory municipalities to become carbon neutral in municipal operations by 2012. To be carbon neutral means there is no net release of carbon or greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere as a result of city operations. Being carbon neutral with current technologies is difficult. As a result, it is achieved through a combination of reductions and offsets. The steps to being carbon neutral are:
- Measure greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduce where possible
- Offset the remining emissions by purchasing carbon offsets
- Report to the Provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee on the above actions
The City of Revelstoke signed the Climate Action Charter in the fall of 2008.
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