It is nice to be able to report a positive story on climate change mitigation, especially with the new Canadian commitment to reducing greenhouse gases.
North Cowichan has managed to reduce annual net carbon emissions by almost 20,000 tonnes through one initiative.
By pausing the logging program in 2020 for the forest review, the municipality will sequester an extra 40,000 tonnes of carbon by the end of 2021.
This is a big deal, go to https://www.myclimate.org/ and look at what one tonne is equivalent to in driving and flying.
This will make us the envy of other small communities trying to meet their climate change mitigation goals.
These savings were calculated and supported by two independent consulting firms hired by the municipality.
3GreenTree Ecosystems did the math and the Sustainability Solutions Group included the calculations in its climate change modeling.
It took courage from the mayor and the majority of councillors who voted in April to continue the logging pause through 2021.
Reducing emissions is not going to be cheap, there is a cost to most government emission reduction strategies.
What’s interesting about this forest carbon sequestration strategy is that it doesn’t have to increase the municipal budget and increase property taxes.
The consultants tell us that if we stop the logging (except for fire mitigation and blowdown removal) we can sell carbon offsets and generate revenue comparable to the logging program.
I hope that mayor and council will fully investigate the forest carbon offset initiative and keep the logging on pause until the forest review is completed.
This is a good news story that shows North Cowichan can be a leader in climate change mitigation.