Feds incentivize carbon reduction with GHG offset system

The federal government has launched Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System. The offset system will give municipalities, foresters, farmers, Indigenous communities, and others a market-based incentive to undertake projects that reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs).

Under the new system, registered participants can carry out projects following a federal offset protocol, which sets out a consistent approach for measuring GHG emissions reductions or removals for specific types of projects. These projects can generate one tradeable offset credit for every tonne of emissions they reduce or remove from the atmosphere.

Once a credit is earned, it can be sold to others to help them meet their compliance obligations or emissions reduction goals under the carbon pollution pricing system.

Under the new Landfill Methane Recovery and Destruction protocol, municipalities and other landfill operators will be able to generate offset credits for recovering landfill gas from their operations and destroying it or repurposing it into energy with technologies such as flares, boilers, turbines, and engines. Reducing greenhouse gases from waste (responsible for seven┬ápercent of Canada’s greenhouse gases) is a key component to achieving Canada’s emissions reduction targets.

Four additional offset protocols are currently in development for activities such as advanced refrigeration, agriculture, and forest management. Environment and Climate Change Canada has also identified the next round of protocols for development, which will include a protocol for Direct Air Carbon Capture and Sequestration, technologies that directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and permanently store it underground.

Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec have shared their experiences to help support the design of the federal system.