Environment Canada

Environment Canada

August 09, 2008 09:30 ET

Baird Announces Another Step in Turning the Corner Plan to Cut Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2008) - Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, today launched another important regulatory phase as part of the Government's aggressive Turning the Corner Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gases. Minister Baird released the first of three guides that will lead to creation this fall of Canada's Offset System for Greenhouse Gases.

"Part of our Government's approach to cutting greenhouse gases is to find new and innovative ways to rise to this important challenge," said Minister Baird. "Canada's Offset System is a key component of our Turning the Corner Action Plan to help reduce Canada's emissions an absolute 20% by 2020."

The Offset System is a component of Canada's Turning the Corner Plan, which also includes carbon trading, credit for early action, and a technology fund. It provides businesses with the option of using credits to meet mandatory greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The guide being released today - Canada's Offset System for Greenhouse Gases: Guide for Protocol Developers - provides detailed information on how to prepare and complete an Offset System Quantification Protocol. A protocol describes the approach to identify and measure greenhouse gas reductions from eligible projects under Canada's Offset System.

"Some people have, over the course of the summer, been talking a good game when it comes to cutting greenhouse gases," said Minister Baird. "While others talk, our Government is taking real action to put the regulations in place to make the Turning the Corner plan a reality."

The Government's Turning the Corner Action Plan requires big industry to take action to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the plan has tough, tougher and toughest measures for new oil sands projects, requiring them to implement carbon capture and storage technology. It also will essentially ban the construction of dirty coal-fired power plants.

BACKGROUNDER

CANADA'S OFFSET SYSTEM

Canada's Offset System will issue credits for greenhouse gas emission reductions from activities that are not subject to mandatory targets under the Turning the Corner plan. Industrial producers will be able to acquire these credits and use them to meet their mandatory greenhouse gas reduction obligations. Other parties (e.g. small businesses, individuals, travellers) will also be able to acquire and use these credits to voluntarily offset the greenhouse gas emissions from their activities. The credits will help fund projects that could include methane capture and destruction from landfill gas, reforestation and other forestry projects, soil management, and clean electricity generation such as wind or solar projects.

The guide being released today - Canada's Offset System for Greenhouse Gases: Guide for Protocol Developers - provides detailed information on how to prepare and complete an Offset System Quantification Protocol. This protocol describes the approach to identify and measure greenhouse gas reductions and eligible projects under Canada's Offset System.

In addition to using offset credits, companies can pursue a variety of other compliance options, including reducing emissions within their organizations, making contributions to a technology fund, trading for credits with regulated firms that emit less than their regulatory target, earning credit for early action, and accessing the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism.

Two other guidance documents will be published later in the summer: the Guide for Project Proponents and the Guide for Verification Bodies.

Each of these documents will first be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I for a 60-day public consultation. It is anticipated that revisions may be made and the final guidance documents published in the fall.

Proposed greenhouse gas regulations are expected to be published for public consultation in the Canada Gazette later this year, and the regulations finalized in 2009 to come into force as planned on January 1, 2010.

Turning the Corner promises to regulate industrial greenhouse gas emissions to help achieve the Government of Canada's commitment to a 20% reduction in Canada's overall emissions from 2006 levels by 2020. Under this plan, some of Canada's biggest polluters will be required to reduce emissions for every unit of production by 18% by 2010, and by an additional 2% every year after, drawing from a range of options, including the offset system.

For more information on the Offset System, please visit www.ec.gc.ca/creditscompensatoires-offsets

Egalement offert en francais

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Press Secretary
    Chris Day
    819-997-1441
    or
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    819-934-8008
    1-888-908-8008