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Adapting offset credit protocols for Québec and Ontario

General description and deliverables

The steps currently being taken will allow for adapting offset credit protocols resulting from the regulated market or the voluntary market in such sectors of activity as agriculture, forestry and residual materials. Therefore, the protocols will meet the requirements of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) as well as the specificities of Québec and Ontario and, insofar as possible, will be able to be applied across Canada.

Thirteen high-quality offset credit protocols will eventually be made available to project promoters, mainly in Québec and Ontario. The protocols will foster the issue of offset credits and will thereby support the implementation of the carbon market in Québec, Ontario and California.

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Québec–Ontario collaboration

Based on a partnership between the two governments, the process is headed by Ontario in close collaboration with Québec. Consequently, Québec has specifically undertaken to:

  • Provide Ontario with the expertise and active participation of its professionals within the committees formed under the project;
  • Pay Ontario a financial contribution corresponding to half of the costs it incurs, up to a maximum of $350,000, in certain phases of the project involving protocols in sectors where Québec does not already have protocols.

Consult the Contribution Agreement concluded for this purpose.

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Types of projects

The activity sectors for which Québec already has offset credit protocols in force are given priority. Therefore, for Québec, this involves assessing these protocols on an accelerated basis with a view to adapting and including them in Ontario’s regulation:

  1. Mine Methane Capture and Destruction Protocol
  2. Landfill Gas Capture and Destruction Protocol
  3. Ozone Depleting Substances Capture and Destruction Protocol

For the other types of projects listed below, an existing offset credit protocol will be adapted:

  1. N2O Emission Reductions from Fertilizer Management in Agriculture Protocol
  2. Emission Reduction from Livestock Protocol
  3. Organic Waste Digestion Protocol
  4. Organic Waste Management Protocol
  5. Forest Protocol
  6. Afforestation Protocol
  7. Urban Forest Project Protocol
  8. Grassland Protocol
  9. Conservation Cropping Protocol
  10. Refrigeration System Protocol

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Work method

Following a public call for tenders, Ontario retained the services of Climate Action Reserve (CAR) as its consultant on offset credit protocol adaptation. To carry out this mandate, the organization formed a team composed of Canadian firms, including the Québec company ÉcoRessources. CAR will work under the supervision of Ontario (which will serve as the project leader) and Québec.

A working group is established for each protocol to be adapted to guide CAR’s work. The working groups are coordinated by representatives of the organization and are composed of Ontario and Québec ministry representatives as well as external experts.

The basic work phases are as follows:

  • Detailed research and review of existing protocols;
  • Making recommendations on the protocol selected for adaptation;
  • Preparation and drafting of an adapted protocol project;
  • The opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide feedback during the project’s various phases;
  • Preparation of the final draft for each protocol and submission of these protocol drafts to Québec and Ontario, which will consider them in the final stage of their regulatory amendment process.

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Engagement of stakeholders and the public

Transparency is an important aspect of the project. The engagement of stakeholders and the public is also important since they can make a broad and diverse contribution to adapting protocols and thereby improve their quality.

Stakeholders may be other ministry representatives of Québec, Ontario, or other provinces, project promoters, verifiers, legal experts, First Nations representatives, industry representatives, and representatives of other target groups.

The public and stakeholders have simultaneous access to the documents on which comments may be made. Protocol projects and other documents prepared in conjunction with projects are available on the CAR website.

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At this point, the technical version adapted within the framework of this project has been completed for two protocols — the Mine Methane Capture and Destruction Protocol and the Landfill Gas Capture and Destruction Protocol. The other protocols are expected to be completed in 2018.

Further information

Two webinars presenting the project’s kick-off were held on December 21, 2016 and January 11, 2017. Consult the presentation: Adapting Offset Protocols for Ontario, Québec, and Other Jurisdictions (PDF, 229 KB).

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