Canada’s Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, has announced that the government is taking an important step towards setting up a carbon market in Canada by moving forward with its Offset System for Greenhouse Gases.
“The Offset System is an important part of Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases,” said Minister Prentice. “This system is one of several steps we are taking as we finalize our domestic regulatory framework for greenhouse gas emissions, and marks a major milestone as we move towards establishing a carbon market in Canada.”
The Offset System will establish tradable credits and encourage cost-effective domestic greenhouse gas reductions in areas that will not be covered by planned federal greenhouse gas regulations, like the forestry and agricultural sectors. For example, potential offset projects could include methane capture and destruction from landfill gas, the creation of new forests, or agricultural soil management.
Companies subject to the greenhouse gas emissions regulations will be able to purchase offset credits on the carbon market and use these credits for compliance with their regulated targets. In addition, other parties, such as small businesses, individuals and travelers, will be able to acquire and use these credits to voluntarily offset the greenhouse gas emissions from their activities.
The two draft guides that will be published in the Canada Gazette on June 12 propose rules and guidance on the requirements and processes used to generate offset credits and to verify the eligible greenhouse gas reductions achieved from a registered project. Interested parties will have 60 days to comment on these guidance documents.
The release of these two draft guides follows the publication of the first draft guide in August 2008, which proposed the rules and guidance to quantify greenhouse gas reductions for projects in Canada’s Offset System. The final versions of all three Offset System guides are expected to be published in the fall of 2009 after all comments have been reviewed.
More information about Canada’s Offset System is available on Environment Canada’s website at: www.ec.gc.ca/creditscompensatoires-offsets
Canada‘s Offset System for Greenhouse Gases
Notes for an Address by the the Honourable Jim Prentice, PC, QC, MP, Minister of the Environment on Canada’s Offset System for Greenhouse Gases