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Pacific Carbon Trust says its offset price is competitive

The Pacific Carbon Trust's CEO Scott MacDonald sent the following response to The Tyee's Tuesday, March 12 article about the PCT and the price it charges public bodies for carbon offsets under the B.C. government's carbon neutral plan:

Dear Editor,

While I appreciate Andrew MacLeod’s ongoing interest in the growth of BC’s carbon market, there were a few points in the recent Tyee article, “Paying Too Much for Carbon Offsets?” that require clarification.

First of all, I’d like to provide a bit of context for carbon pricing in BC. Pacific Carbon Trust’s price for offsets – $25 per tonne – is comparable to the price set by other high quality carbon retailers in Canada. When you consider that Offsetters charges $20 or $30, Planetair $33.80 and $25 or $45 per tonne, the price set by government for Pacific Carbon Trust does not seem particularly aggressive.

Second, I wish to reiterate why Pacific Carbon Trust does not disclose the price it pays for offsets. PCT acquires offsets in a competitive bid process, and price is one of the key factors in the evaluation of bids. One of our overriding concerns is to get the best price for taxpayer dollars; this is only possible in a system in which prices are kept confidential.

Finally, it’s important to emphasize that the revenues from offset sales are reinvested in new GHG offset projects to meet future client demand. These projects lead to real jobs across BC and support innovative projects and greener technologies.

Information about these projects is available on our website, as are PCT’s key corporate documents, including our service plans. Although we cannot disclose the prices we pay for offsets, we value transparency in our organization, and attempt to ensure our books are open to public scrutiny.

I hope this letter helps clarify some of the misconceptions around the price of offsets in BC.


D. Scott MacDonald CEO, Pacific Carbon Trust

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