08 — Canada

Carbon Neutral Government Program

British Columbia became the first government at the state level in North America to take 100% responsibility for its greenhouse gases.

The Project

In 2010, British Columbia (B.C.) became the first government at the provincial, territorial, or state level in North America to take 100% responsibility for the greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from all 128 of its public-sector organizations by measuring their emissions, reducing them where possible, and purchasing offsets to cover the remainder.
The public sector, which consists of provincial government ministries, Crown corporations, health authorities, school districts, universities, and colleges, has successfully achieved carbon neutrality each year from 2010 to 2017.

Key Facts

  1. The B.C. government has set targets to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 80% by 2050;
  2. From 2010 to 2017, approximately 5.6 million tonnes of offsets were purchased and retired from offset projects throughout the province of B.C;
  3. B.C.’s investments in offset projects between 2008 and 2014 amounted to about CAD 53 million. This investment leveraged an estimated contribution to provincial Gross Domestic Product of CAD 372 million and created 3,400 person-years of employment.


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