Canadian city of New Westminster earns $26 million from selling low-carbon credits


The City of New Westminster in western Canada recently received 26.4 million Canadian dollar ($20.6 million) after selling the credits it had earned under the BC Low Carbon Fuel Standard (BCLFS). 

The credits, collected between 2013 and 2020, were sold to Elbow River Marketing, a Calgary-based company that deliver fossil fuels by rail, truck, ship and pipeline. It’s also listed as a participant in the BCLFS program, and a subsidiary of Parkland Corporation, a Canadian convenience store and gas station operator.

In B.C., suppliers of transportation fuels with a high carbon intensity (such as gasoline or diesel) are required to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuels. One option to do so is through the purchase of low carbon fuel credits, which are generated by suppliers of transportation fuels with a low carbon intensity (such as electricity or biodiesel).

New Westminster, having its own electrical utility, earned the credits continuously by supplying the electricity to operate SkyTrain through its jurisdiction of New Westminster and to charge electric vehicles.

Revenue of the sale will go to the city’s Climate Action Reserve Fund, which provides one-time investment for projects and initiatives that help push forward the city’s climate goals. Mayor Jonathan Cote said in a statement that the establishment of a Climate Action Reserve Fund boosts the city’s development in achieving the 2050 net zero emissions goals.

New Westminster city government responses to climate change with seven pillars, including a “carbon-free corporation,” car light community, carbon-free homes and buildings, pollution-free vehicles, carbon-free energy, robust urban forest, and people-centered urban realm.

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