Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System

Canada’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offset Credit System enables project proponents to generate federal offset credits if they register and implement projects that reduce GHGs using a published federal GHG offset protocol.  Offset credits can be sold and used for compliance by facilities covered in the federal Output Based Pricing System or sold and used by others who are looking to meet voluntary climate targets or commitments.

Important notice

The Canadian Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System Regulations have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Canada’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offset Credit System is now accepting applications for project registration under the Landfill Methane Recovery and Destruction protocol. Refer to the Credit and Tracking System tab below for further details on how to apply.

Candidate submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis for placement on the Roster of Technical Experts, from which Technical Expert Teams will be formed to support federal offset protocol development. Individuals with significant technical and scientific expertise and who are interested in supporting the development of the Direct Air Carbon Capture and Sequestration protocol are encouraged to submit their candidacy packages by July 31, 2022.

Carbon Pollution Pricing: Considerations for facilitating Indigenous participation in the Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System is available for public comment. This paper provides information on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s initiatives to date and additional proposed measures to facilitate the participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s GHG Offset Credit System. The deadline to receive comments has been extended to September 2, 2022. Written comments can be sent to creditscompensatoires-offsets@ec.gc.ca.

Overview

Legislation and Regulations

The Canadian Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System Regulations (GHG Offset Regulations) established under Part 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA), were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II (PDF) on June 8th, 2022. The GHG Offset Regulations apply across Canada.

Key Offset System Design Considerations

The federal government previously published the following discussion paper to inform the design of the Federal Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System. The comment period is now closed.

Carbon Pollution Pricing: Options for a Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System (June 2019)

Pan-Canadian Greenhouse Gas Offsets Framework

The design of Canada’s the Federal GHG Offset Credit System will align with the Pan-Canadian GHG Offsets Framework (PDF) agreed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment in November 2018.

Draft Regulations

The proposed Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System Regulations (Canada) were published in Canada Gazette, Part I (PDF), on March 6, 2021.

Credit and Tracking System

Registration

The Credit and Tracking System (CATS) tracks registration, reporting and federal offset credit issuance, transfer, retirement, suspension, revocation, and cancellation as well as compliance obligations and remittance of compliance units and any payments under Canada’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offset Credit System.

Proponents of offset projects are required to open a GHG Offset Credit System account in CATS. The account application must include a project registration application. Only the authorized official named to represent the proponent may open an account to participate in Canada's GHG Offset Credit System.

Documents

The following documents must be completed and submitted for account opening and/or project registration. Please contact the GHG Offset Credit System Operations Office at CreditsCompensatoiresSCSC-OffsetsCATS@ec.gc.ca to receive copies of the applicable templates:

  • Identity Verification: to be completed by trusted referees (a notary or lawyer) to confirm the identity of proponents or individuals authorized to act on the behalf of a proponent.
  • Authorized Official Authorization: to be completed by a proponent to authorize an individual to act as an authorized official on behalf of the proponent.
  • Project Registration Application: to be completed by a proponent or their authorized official to register a project in Canada’s GHG Offset Credit System.
  • Aggregation of Projects Registration Application: to be completed by a proponent or their authorized official to register an aggregation of projects, made up of a group of projects, in Canada’s GHG Offset Credit System.
  • Request for Confidentiality: to be completed by a proponent or their authorized official when making a request for information provided to the Minister to be treated as confidential under Sections 254 and 255 of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.
Protocols

Federal offset protocols set out requirements for project implementation and methods for quantifying the GHGs emitted or removed by the atmosphere. Only eligible project activities included in a published federal offset protocol will be able to generate credits in Canada’s GHG Offset Credit System.

Published Federal Offset Protocols

Federal offset protocols are listed in the Compendium of Federal Offset Protocols. Published federal offset protocols include:

Emission Factors and Reference Values

Project proponents must quantify the GHGs emitted or removed from their project using the applicable emission factors and reference values set out in the following document:

Protocol Development Status

Environment and Climate Change Canada is currently developing the following federal offset protocols:

  • Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Refrigeration Systems
  • Improved Forest Management
  • Enhanced Soil Organic Carbon
  • Livestock Feed Management

In summer 2022, ECCC will be initiating the development of the following federal offset protocol:

  • Direct Air Carbon Capture and Sequestration

If you have significant expertise in this area and are interested in participating in the protocol development process, please consider submitting your candidacy package for the Roster of Technical Experts by July 31,2022.

As protocols are completed, work on new protocols will begin. Subsequent project types under consideration for federal offset protocol development including Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Improved Forestry Management on Public Lands, Livestock Manure Management and Anaerobic Digestion.

Note that protocols may not be developed for all the project types listed above, and other project types may also be considered, depending on the results of the development work. Environment and Climate Change Canada will also consider additional project types for protocol development in the future.

Draft Protocols for Public Consultation

Environment and Climate Change Canada published the following draft protocols on January 17, 2022 for a 30-day public consultation period:

The comment period is now closed.

Considerations for Protocol Development

Environment and Climate Change Canada previously published the following discussion paper Carbon Pollution Pricing: Considerations for Protocol Development in the Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System (July 2020) that provides additional detail on design considerations for Canada’s GHG Offset Credit System, with a focus on protocol development. The comment period is now closed.

Technical Experts

Roster of Technical Experts

To support federal offset protocol development, Environment and Climate Change Canada is seeking input on a volunteer basis from external technical experts with significant expertise related to offset project development; greenhouse gas validation and verification; sector-based best management practices; offset protocol development; and/or relevant academic research.

Individuals with significant technical and/or scientific expertise who would like to be considered for placement on the Roster of Technical Experts are invited to download and complete the following:

Completed forms and an updated CV should be sent to creditscompensatoires-offsets@ec.gc.ca, with the subject line: “Candidacy Package for Roster of Technical Experts”. Candidate submissions will be accepted on an on-going basis.

Individuals interested in supporting the development of the Direct Air Carbon Capture and Sequestration protocol are encouraged to submit their candidacy packages by July 31, 2022.

Updates to qualifications, project types of interest, changes to contact information, or requests for removal from the Roster of Technical Experts can be made at any time by emailing creditscompensatoires-offsets@ec.gc.ca.

Technical Expert Teams

Environment and Climate Change Canada will establish Technical Expert Teams made up of individuals from the Roster of Technical Experts to provide technical advice on federal offset protocol development. As specific expertise is required for each project type, the membership of each Technical Expert Team will vary depending on the protocol. Not all individuals on the Roster of Technical Experts will be placed on a Technical Expert Team.

Greenhouse Gas Offset Toolkit

Looking for more information about carbon markets, greenhouse gas (GHG) offsets or general requirements for participating in an offset system?

Environment and Climate Change Canada has created informational factsheets and gathered tools and resources together in a GHG Offsets Toolkit.

This GHG Offsets Toolkit is designed to be used by anyone who is developing, managing or implementing a federal GHG offset project. We hope that by having resources available in one easy-to-access place, the GHG Offset Toolkit can help individuals and communities understand and navigate the requirements of an offset system and build capacity to take part in Canada’s GHG Offset Credit System.

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