What's in an offset?

The Campbell administration's climate action secretariat has convened a hasty meeting with environmental groups this coming Thursday to discuss the government's proposed carbon offset regulations. The government expects to to be annually purchasing between 600,000 to 900,000 tonnes of offsets each year to compensate for its greenhouse gas emissions. But those purchases - investments in projects that reduce such emissions - could be controversial if the administration insists on including reforestation activities like the "incremental tree planting intiatives" mentioned its recent throne speech

After all, as first reported by The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer, in a November 2007 speech to the C.D. Howe Institute, the premier's special climate action advisor Mark Jaccard questioned the emissions impact of those activites: "Was the planted tree in Guatemala truly an additional investment in reducing GHGs or would another tree have sprouted eventually in that spot anyway? Does the planted tree represent a permanent increase in biosphere sequestration or carbon or will it be cut down in 10 years' time?"

The following is a complete copy of the schedule for that workshop, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.

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ENGO Climate Action Workshop
August 14, 2008
Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Stanley Room (34th floor)
655 Burrard St., Vancouver

Agenda

8:45 am
Welcome
Tim Lesiuk, Climate Action Secretariat

9:00 am Emissions Offset Intentions Paper: this sets the criteria offsets in B.C. must meet under the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Target Act. You can access the paper on the following website: www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/codes/ggrta/offsets_reg.htm
Tim Lesiuk, Climate Action Secretariat
Laura Lapp or Lee Thiessen, Ministry of Environment

Summary of ENGO response to Intentions Paper
TBD

Discussion

10:30 am Break

10:45 am
Q&A on MKJA Economic Analysis done for B.C.'s Climate Action Plan
Chris Bataille, Director, M.K. Jaccard and Associates

11:45 am Lunch

12:30 pm Western Climate Initiative
Overview of recommendations to date and process going forward for WCI and within B.C.
Tim Lesiuk, Climate Action Secretariat

Summary of ENGO comments submitted to date in WCI process
Matt Horne, Pembina Institute

Discussion

2:45pm Closing Remarks

1 Comment

This whole carbon tax and carbon credits brouhaha strikes me as nothing more than a big con game. With websites and action committees and throne speeches and and and... it still walks like a duck. But it seems like once again it's the taxpayers who are getting... ducked.

I am amused at how 'it's for the environment' seems to have replaced 'it's for the children'.

I call Hooey.

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