VCS Streamlines Offset Approval for Canadian Projects
British Columbia's Carbon Trust Delivers First Offsets
Canada sets deadline for emissions
Canadian industrial emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have until
June 1, 2010 to report their 2009 GHG emissions. Data collected
will be used to create a domestic GHG inventory, harmonizing
emissions reporting across Canadian jurisdictions. The reporting
deadline, which was established by Environment Canada, applies to
facilities that emit over 50,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year,
replacing the 100,000 tonne threshold that has been in effect since
the introduction of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program
The reporting deadline is an element of the federal
government's efforts to develop regulations aimed at combating
GHGs. Environment Minister Jim Prentice has indicated that
regulations will be unveiled prior to December's climate change
talks in Copenhagen. As reported in our
June 2009 Energy Law Update, the government has published
guidelines for a domestic offset program that will form part of
Canada's proposed cap-and-trade system, but has yet to develop
sector-specific regulations for regulated entities.
Reporting facilities must keep copies of the required
information, along with calculations, measurements and other
underlying data, in Canada for a three-year period from the
required date of submission. Reporting requirements are detailed in
the Canada Gazette Notice for 2009
VCS streamlines offset approval for Canadian projects
On July 23, 2009, the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)
Association announced that it will no longer require projects
located in Canada to demonstrate that Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs)
issued to the project would cancel out a corresponding number of
compliance units under the Kyoto Protocol, known as Assigned Amount
Units (AAUs). This requirement eliminates the risk of double
counting that occurs when a project in a particular country sells
emission reductions and thus "frees up" AAUs that the
government can then sell.
"The VCS Board concluded that this requirement is not
applicable to Canada because there is no regulatory framework to
implement the Kyoto Protocol, none is likely to emerge, and the
country is unlikely to achieve its Kyoto Protocol reduction
commitment," the VCS reported.
To date, Canadian projects have not been able to generate VCUs.
The action is expected to enhance access to global carbon finance
markets and provide incentives for the development of, and
investment in, GHG reduction and removal projects in Canada.
The VCS is an internationally recognized standard for voluntary
carbon offsets, providing a framework with additionality and
baseline-setting requirements, as well as a registry system for
buyers and sellers to track VCUs.
British Columbia's Carbon Trust delivers first offsets
The Pacific Carbon Trust has delivered its first 34,370 tonnes
of emissions offsets to the provincial government through
investments in new energy technologies.
The Trust, a Crown corporation established in 2008 as part of the
province's Climate Action Plan, purchases carbon offsets on
behalf of public-sector organizations and other clients, including
businesses and individuals. Under the Plan, all public-sector
organizations are required to achieve carbon neutrality by
Offsets purchased by the Trust must be generated through
B.C.-based activities that demonstrate real GHG emission reductions
or removals that would not have occurred without the revenue from
the purchases, and reductions must be verified by an objective
The Trust has a goal of acquiring over 700,000 tonnes of offsets
annually by 2011. To date, it has agreed to acquire offsets from
fifteen facilities, including greenhouses, a cement plant and a
developer of hybrid heating systems.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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