Canada: Voluntary Carbon Standard Association Accepts Bennett Jones´ Submission And Amends Its Rules

July 23, 2009 (Toronto, ON) - Bennett Jones LLP welcomes the announcement today by the Voluntary Carbon Standard Association (VCSA) outlining changes in the rules with respect to the creation of Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) in countries named in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol ("Annex B Countries") based on criteria defined by the VCSA Board. Under the new rules, Canadian-based projects can now freely apply to use the VCS and issue VCUs without arranging for the Government of Canada to cancel an equal number of Kyoto Protocol units (called Assigned Amount Units or AAUs).

The change will provide new incentives for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation actions, thereby benefitting the environment by supporting voluntary efforts to create GHG emission reductions and sequestrations in Annex B Countries under certain criteria, with Canada being the first approved case. The Voluntary Carbon Standard is a leading standard in the burgeoning market for GHG voluntary offsets.

On behalf of some of its clients, Bennett Jones made submissions to the VCSA requesting a change to Section 5.2.2 of the VCSA rules which, as then drafted, required any projects hosted by an Annex B country that wanted to be able to use the VCS standard to issue VCUs to ask the national government of that country to give up an equivalent entitlement to Kyoto Protocol units (AAUs).

As Canada had ratified the Kyoto Protocol, project developers in Canada could not use the VCS, despite the Canadian government making it clear that it did not intend to meet the GHG emission limitations imposed by the Kyoto Protocol. This created a situation where VCUs could be created in the United States, but not across the border in Canada, under essentially identical circumstances, depriving Canadian offset developers of the ability to access the portion of the global GHG market where VCUs are a well recognized and widely accepted commodity.

The VCSA responded to the submissions made by Bennett Jones and has specified criteria which it will apply to determine when Section 5.2.2 will not apply and, as a result, when the VCSA will not require AAUs to be retired by the national government of the Annex B country hosting the project. In addition, the VCSA accepted Bennett Jones' submission that Canada should be excepted from the previous application of Section 5.2.2 of the VCSA rules and has announced that Canada is the first (and so far only) Annex B jurisdiction in which GHG emission reductions or sequestrations that otherwise meet the VCS standard can be freely issued without government cooperation.

The Bennett Jones Climate Change and Emissions Trading Group's efforts were lead by Andrei Marcu, its Senior Climate Change Business Advisor, with the support of Gray Taylor, the Chair of the Climate Change and Emissions Trading Group. Andrei Marcu's role built upon his long experience in emissions trading and related matters for both voluntary and compliance matters. Andrei Marcu stated, "This ruling will allow Canadian project developers the opportunity to tap the global carbon finance market and also integrate Canada in the international carbon market, which is critical given the important role Canada has in global energy markets."

Gray Taylor stated, "The addition of Andrei Marcu's vast international experience and capability to our world-class climate change practice improved our ability to tackle extraordinarily difficult assignments like this one in a sophisticated and creative way. We believe the changes made by the VCSA will benefit our clients both in and out of Canada as well as Canadians generally and, most importantly, the atmosphere."

Says Hugh MacKinnon, Chairman and CEO of Bennett Jones, "Our cutting edge climate change practice has achieved another first. All of us in the firm are pleased with this major achievement for our clients and our Climate Change and Emissions Trading practice group."

On behalf of one of Bennett Jones' clients, Emission Credits Corporation, Robert Coulter, the Chief Executive Officer and former Aboriginal leader, stated, "This is a truly remarkable achievement which validates our efforts to produce voluntary reductions in Canada for use outside of compliance systems. We are truly appreciative of Bennett Jones' efforts and accomplishment. We look forward to creating many VCUs in the near future."

Dave LaBarre, Executive Vice President, Blue Source LLC, another Bennett Jones client, added, "Blue Source was pleased to engage with Bennett Jones who drove this initiative which will allow our clients to create VCUs from Canadian emission reduction projects. We are encouraged to now offer multiple outlets for voluntary offsets which will bring increased value to our customer base."

About Bennett Jones LLP:

With over 350 lawyers in four offices, Bennett Jones is a premier Canadian business law firm providing integrated legal and strategic business services across all areas of business law. The firm's practice spans the issues relevant to business, including the provision of climate change policy advice and the planning and implementation of emissions trading transactions where the firm is recognized as a leader both in Canada and around the world. Bennett Jones deals with matters both in and out of Canada building on core legal and advisory expertise in the areas of energy and natural resources projects and transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and banking, corporate governance, bankruptcy and restructuring, competition, climate change and environmental, regulatory issues, major capital projects, international trade and investment, technology, tax, litigation and intellectual property.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Gray E, Taylor
In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions