PRRD mulls carbon neutrality

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Photo: PRRD directors discuss agenda items at Thursday’s board meeting in Dawson Creek – Christine Rumleskie/

By Christine Rumleskie

The Peace River Regional District is taking more steps towards becoming carbon neutral by 2012.

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Directors met in Dawson Creek on Thursday, and discussed a Regional Community Energy Partnership.  If implemented, the partnership could help PRRD municipalities (and residents) implement carbon-neutral practices.

Becoming carbon-neutral involves reducing harmful carbon-dioxide emissions to a set standard.  If the set goal isn’t reached, the consumer purchases offset credits, and the funds go towards things like tree-planting or the purchase of renewable energy infrastructure.

What’s unique about the proposed Regional Community Energy Partnership, is that the PRRD wants to keep the generated carbon-offset funds within the Regional District.

Area ‘C’ Alternate Director Larry Houley says the concept of carbon-neutrality is foreign to many Peace residents, including some that sit on the regional district board.  He suggested the board needs to be educated on the topic before any plan becomes implemented.

Chair Karen Goodings admits she is still skeptical that climate change is even occurring.  But she concedes it’s still important to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

However, before any Regional Community Energy Partnership can come into play, a feasibility study needs to be conducted to investigate if the idea would actually work in the Peace.

So, Directors voted in favour of including $45,000 in the 2010 budget for such a study.

Directors White and Nicholls were opposed to the motion, and the board can still decide to cancel the funding in the upcoming months.  Either way, the study can’t go ahead until the board finalizes the 2010 budget, in the upcoming months.

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