Ladysmith uses Carbon Marketplace to become Carbon Neutral for 2012

The Town of Ladysmith was carbon neutral in 2012 thanks to its purchase of 365 tonnes of community carbon credits through Community Carbon Marketplace (CCM), a homegrown community-based alternative for emissions offsetting.

"Council is very pleased that we are able to become carbon neutral in 2012 by investing in local carbon offset credits," Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins said in a press release. "Contributing to local projects helps our communities to become both sustainable and resilient."

Through the CCM, the first online community Carbon market on the continent, the credits were purchased from the emissions reductions of the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-op, Vancouver Island Salt Co., Greasecycle Inc., and the Island Bio-Diesel Co-op.

CCM is accessible by community-based greenhouse gas (GHG) initiatives and local governments, and directs offsetting dollars "to invest in the development of a local low-carbon green economy to balance communities for a healthy planet," said the release. The CCM is a new initiative of Cowichan Energy Alternatives, a community non-profit organization.

"This is exactly the way I believe the carbon market should be working: supporting a paradigm shift to a truly sustainable, globally minded economy in a way that increases the viability of renewable alternatives at a local level," said Brian Roberts, executive director of Cowichan Energy Alternatives.

To date, 178 out of 182 communities in British Columbia have committed to becoming carbon neutral.

CCM's carbon credits are now sold out and Roberts is calling on organizations working on green project that reduces GHG emissions to touch base and see if they qualify for the CCM program.

"You may be generating revenue, which until now you haven't been able to access," he said. "This is a call for community organizations and businesses to bring their green initiatives to the CCM to determine eligibility to be part of the first online market for exchanging community carbon credits."

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