Some money from the Pacific Carbon Trust was funnelled to a project to deploy hydrogen-fueled buses in Whistler.

Carbon credit costs add up for hospitals, schools

Lower Mainland health authorities spent more than $2m, school districts paid $4.5m to offset greenhouse gases

The Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health authorities spent more than $1 million each on carbon offsets last year.

A provincial government report detailing the mandated purchases shows UBC spent the most on offsets – $1.7 million – while school districts spent a combined $4.5 million, led by the Surrey School District at $523,000 and Vancouver at $427,000.

Government bodies must buy carbon offsets through B.C.’s Pacific Carbon Trust to neutralize their own greenhouse gas emissions as part of the province’s policy of carbon neutral government introduced by former premier Gordon Campbell.

Offsets bought in 2012 totalled $18.8 million, with health authorities making up the single largest contributing sector at $5.7 million.

Critics have called the program is a waste of scarce public sector money as schools and hospitals can’t eliminate their own emissions to avoid the charges.

An audit of the Pacific Carbon Trust also found some of the made-in-B.C. offset projects should not have received money.

Premier Christy Clark has directed new Environment Minister Mary Polak to reform the offset system.

Just Posted

South Surrey-White Rock candidates have their say

Local federal candidates weigh in on issues affecting Semiahmoo Peninsula residents

White Rock honeybee deaths prompt inspection by KPU prof

Researcher Cameron Lait unable to provide diagnosis due to lack of evidence – but has a theory

Cyclist reportedly struck by vehicle in Surrey

Man was rushed to hospital after incident on 104 Avenue

Family-friendly Halloween event planned for Historic Stewart Farm

South Surrey historic site to host ‘Haunted Farm’ event

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Man killed in Richmond had ‘no record of criminality,’ IHIT says

Stephen Chong, 58, was found dead in his business

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read

l -->