Carbon pollution pricing: options for a Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System, chapter 10

Proposed criteria for offset project eligibility


  • Offset project start date of January 1st, 2017 or later.
    • The project start date corresponds to the date that the offset project activity first began
  • The offset project must occur in Canada
  • The offset project activities and greenhouse gases (GHG) targeted by the project must be covered in Canada’s most recent National Inventory Report – including any land use, land use change, and forestry activities.


  • The offset project activity must be a specific and identifiable action that results in a net reduction of GHGs and that can be demonstrated to have been implemented in in accordance with the applicable Federal Offset Protocol.
  • The offset project is “functionally equivalent” to its baseline.


  • An approved Federal Offset Protocol exists for the offset project type, which includes all project and baseline sources, sinks or reservoirs that are relevant for the project.
  • The GHG reductions from the project are quantified in a transparent and repeatable manner using scientifically-established standards, acceptable statistical precision for the project or equipment type, and conservative assumptions and approaches to avoid over-estimation of GHG reductions.


  • The project activity must be additional to a business-as-usual scenario (baseline) defined for the project activity in the Federal Offset Protocol.
  • The GHG reductions are surplus to legal or regulatory requirements in the jurisdiction where the project activities will take place.
  • The project activity is not covered by carbon pricing.

Incremental to other incentives

  • The offset project GHG reductions must be beyond what would have occurred from the receipt of other climate change incentives.


  • The offset project is eligible if the project has not been registered under another offset program (no double registration)
  • An offset credit has not been issued for the GHG reductions under another compliance or voluntary offset system.
  • A GHG reduction that has already been used or sold in another compliance or voluntary system or program cannot also be credited in the Federal GHG Offset System.


  • A GHG reduction must be verifiable to a reasonable level of assurance by an accredited Verification Body.
  • The underlying project data and information must be monitored and documented in accordance with an offset protocol.
  • The verification body must be able to review sufficient evidence, and determine whether the project activities conform to regulatory and program requirements.
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