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Adapting offset credit protocols for Québec and Ontario

General description and deliverables

The steps currently being taken will result in adapting existing offset credit protocols on the regulated and voluntary market in such sectors as agriculture, forestry and residual materials. This will allow the protocols to meet the requirements of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) as well as the specificities of Québec and Ontario and, insofar as possible, to be applicable across Canada.

Thirteen high-quality offset credit protocols will eventually be made available to offset credit project promoters located mainly in Québec and Ontario. The protocols will foster the creation of offset credits, thereby supporting 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 provinces, 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 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 sectors for which Québec already has offset credit protocols in force as part of the Regulation respecting a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances are given priority. These protocols will be assessed 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 the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) as its consultant on offset credit protocol adaptation. To carry out this mandate, CAR 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 CAR representatives and are composed of Ontario and Québec ministry representatives and external experts.

The basic work phases include:

  • Detailed research and review of existing protocols;
  • 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 a final project for each protocol and submission of the projects to Québec and Ontario for their final consideration via 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 include other Québec and Ontario ministry representatives, other provinces, project promoters, verifiers, legal experts, First Nations representatives, industry representatives, and other potential 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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It is anticipated that the three priority protocols will be completed in the first part of 2017 and that the other protocols will be completed in 2017 or 2018.

Further information

Two webinars presenting the project’s kick-off were held on December 21, 2016 and January 11, 2017. The presentation is available here (PDF, 257 KB).

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