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As of 2010, public sector organizations must buy carbon offsets to cover their emissions. They must buy these offsets, which cost $25/tonne of emissions, from a Crown corporation called the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT).
The offsets represent emissions reductions elsewhere in the B.C. economy that, in theory, wouldn't have happened without the sale of the offset. Thanks to these private sector cuts, the public sector's net climate impact is supposed to be zero — its carbon "neutralized."
Tom Barrett is a widely published freelance journalist and Tyee contributing editor. This is the latest in the in-depth Tyee Solutions Society series "B.C.'s Quest for Carbon Neutrality: Reports from Canada's Climate Policy Frontier