Today, the federal government has issued for public comment
details of its proposed offset system by publishing draft
Program Rules and Guidance for Project Proponents and
Program Rules for Verification and Guidance for Verification
Bodies in the Canada Gazette. The offset system is intended to
encourage unregulated entities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
in Canada by issuing tradable credits for such reductions.
Under the proposed rules, a proponent would submit an application
for offset project registration, which would be subject to public
comment for a period of 30 days. Following registration, the
government would issue credits if emission reductions were properly
monitored, verified by an independent expert and appropriate
reports were filed. Emission reductions are ineligible for offset
credits if they are achieved in response to a climate change
incentive or a legal requirement. The sale and retirement of
credits would be tracked on a public registry.
The federal government has commented that its offset system may, in
future, be harmonized with provincial, EU and US systems but, to
date, the only proposed linkage is the acceptance of existing
reporting and quantification protocols from sources such as Alberta
Environment, the California Climate Action Registry and the Clean
Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.
Public comments with respect to the proposed rules will be accepted
until August 11, 2009, and final versions of the guidance documents
(including the Guide for Protocol Developers issued in
August 2008) are to be published in the fall. Certain submission
deadlines may arise within weeks of such publication. Limitations
of the proposed offset system, such as the inability to obtain
credit for reductions achieved prior to January 1, 2011, and the
restriction on registration beyond two eight-year periods, will
likely be the subject of public comment and further policy
consideration. Companies considering offset projects will want to
consider next steps in light of the details made available
Click here for Program Rules and Guidance
for Project Proponents
Click here for Program Rules for
Verification and Guidance for Verification Bodies
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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