The provincial government is looking for a computer program that can be "easily customized" to create a "central repository from which local governments can identify their annual community energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions." This, according to a document quietly posted on BC Bid earlier today. The request for information states the system "will be an important tool" in helping municipalities make their own operations carbon neutral by 2012. The following is a complete copy of the relevant portions of that bid document.
The Ministry of Environment provides leadership in environmental management through innovative legislation and programs, compliance activities and shared stewardship initiatives. The mandate of
the Ministry is to protect human health and safety, and maintain and restore the diversity of native species, ecosystems and habitats. Through partnerships across government, and with First Nations, the private sector and communities, the Ministry works to enhance the protection and stewardship of water and air resources, advance sustainable use of environmental resources, and provide exceptional outdoor park and wildlife services and opportunities.
The Ministry's Environmental Quality Branch develops legislation and policies, and works with regional staff to protect air quality, and to address municipal liquid and solid waste. The Branch leads the development and management of industry product-stewardship programs. It sets standards for, and does monitoring and reporting for, ambient air and water (surface and ground water) quality.
The Branch is a co-leader within the B.C. government in developing and implementing measures to address global climate change. The Branch resides within the Ministry's Environmental Protection Division.
The Ministry intends to acquire a Community Energy and Emissions Inventory System to store and analyze energy consumption and related emissions data pertaining to 187 communities throughout British Columbia. The CEEI data, from the transportation, buildings, and solid waste sectors is available from a number of public and private data providers (e.g., BC Hydro; Insurance Corporation of BC; Recycling Council of BC, etc.). The System will:
* serve as a central repository from which local governments can identify their annual community energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
* uniformly calculate and deliver community baseline energy consumption and GHG emission information to serve the needs of the provincial and local governments;
* provide a centralized point of enquiry for all who require annual inventory reports thus reducing demand for reports directly from individual data providers; and
* deliver province-wide aggregated summary reporting for intercommunity analysis and enable future linkage to other government inventory systems.
The purpose of this Request for Information is to obtain input from vendors, organizations and/or individuals to help the Ministry determine if there are any suitable Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) systems, off-the-shelf (OTS) systems or pre-built custom systems available for sale that can be easily customized for its contemplated CEEI System. An easy-to-use Response template is included in this RFI for completion by Respondents.
The Province has introduced legislation, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, to put into law the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets in North America and make its carbon neutral government commitment legally binding. The Act will put into law British Columbia's target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020. It also requires that realistic, economically viable interim targets for 2012 and 2016 be set by the end of 2008, and further establishes an emission reduction target of 80 per cent below 2007 levels by 2050.
In addition, the Province, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and signatory local governments in BC have signed the British Columbia Climate Action Charter to work collaboratively to positively affect climate change. Through the Charter, local governments commit to making their own operations carbon neutral by 2012. The Province committed to making its own operations carbon neutral by 2010.
The parties to the Charter share the common goals of:
a. fostering co-operative inter-governmental relations;
b. aiming to measure then reduce GHG emissions, including both their own and those created by others;
c. removing legislative, regulatory, policy, or other barriers to taking action on climate
e. implementing programs, policies, or legislative actions, within their respective jurisdictions, that facilitate reduced GHG emissions, where appropriate;
f. encouraging communities that are complete and compact and socially responsive; and
g. encouraging infrastructure and a built environment that supports the economic and social needs of the community while minimizing its environmental impact.
The CEEI System will be an important tool in helping the Charter's signatories achieve their energy and GHG reduction targets.