Carbon pollution pricing: options for a Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System, chapter 15

Third party verification and validation

Verification of reductions achieved from an offset project is important to ensure the environmental integrity of the offset credits, i.e. that each credit represents a real greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.

All Project Reports must be verified by a Verification Body in accordance with ISO 14064-3: Specification with guidance for the verification and validation of greenhouse gas statements. The verification activities will include an assessment of project eligibility according to the Federal GHG Offset System regulation and applicable Federal Offset Protocol, confirmation of the project boundary, review of baseline calculations and modelling, and other requirements pertaining to a site visit.

The Verification Body will be required to provide an opinion, at a reasonable level of assurance of the following:

  • The stated amount of GHG reductions is a fair and accurate representation of the GHG reductions achieved in the reporting period and supported by sufficient and appropriate evidence;
  • The project was implemented in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Offset Protocol; and
  • The project satisfies the eligibility criteria for the Federal GHG Offset System as previously described.

The Project Proponent must provide access to project sites and whatever records and other information the Verification Body needs to conduct the verification.

Verification Bodies would need to be accredited at the project level in a corresponding project type to the ISO Standard 14065:2013: Greenhouse gases – Requirements for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or any other accreditation organization that is a member of the International Accreditation Forum.

Verification Bodies must ensure that they are free from conflicts of interest. The Federal GHG Offset System will limit the number of consecutive Project Reports that a Verification Body can verify to six. Environment and Climate Change Canada is proposing that after reaching this limit the verification body must take a three year break before verifying a Project Report for the same offset project.

Project validation is an assessment by an independent third party of the reasonableness of the assumptions and methods used to quantify the expected GHG reductions or removal enhancements for an offset project on a forward-looking basis prior to implementation of the project activity. Project validation assesses the likelihood that implementation of project activities will result in the GHG outcomes, based on the assessment of the project plan. This assessment considers the justification for the proposed baseline, the project scenario’s case for additionality, project assumptions and the accuracy of preliminary calculations for estimated GHG reductions or removal enhancements. Project validation also provides more certainty to project investors, offset credit buyers, Program Authorities and other stakeholders on the project’s GHG outcomes.

Validation, while not required to register an offset project, may help ensure the offset project’s case for additionality is robust, conservative and justifiable, while also taking into account all relevant legal requirements at all levels of government for the particular sector.

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