Gaining clarity on Canada’s GHG offset system
By Bree Rody
While there’s still no official date on the release of all the details of the proposed Federal Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offset System, Canadian producers could learn which practices could qualify for credits.
The proposed regulations are targeted for publication in Canada Gazette I, the Federal Government’s official newspaper, in winter 2021, although which edition is as yet unclear. While all projects will be required “to achieve real, additional, quantified, verified, unique and permanent reductions of GHGs by following an approved federal GHG offset protocol,” a representative for Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) confirmed to Manure Manager that the department has yet to publicly declare which, if any, farming practices could qualify for credits.
The department has confirmed that the initial federal offset protocols have been completed. These initial protocols include landfill methane management and enhanced soil organic carbon, as well as advanced refrigeration systems and improved forest management.
With work on those initial protocols completed, work on new protocols will begin. Subsequent project types under consideration for protocol development include various practices relevant to livestock producers including aerobic composting and livestock feed management. ECCC will also consider developing protocols for additional project types as more data becomes available. Anaerobic digestion and livestock manure management will be revisited once regulations are finalized for the federal Clean Fuel Standard.
The ECCC has also confirmed to Manure Manager that although projects eligible for credits have not yet been announced, eligibility will be required to be more than everyday solutions.
“The [system] will require all projects, including agriculture-based conservation activities or management practices, to go above and beyond business-as-usual, including any relevant legal requirements, not to be covered by carbon pollution pricing, and would need to follow an approved quantification protocol.”
And, projects will be required to achieve quantifiable, verified and confirmed permanent reductions of GHGs.