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Canada's Environment Minister John Baird has released the first of three guides that will lead to the creation of to the country's Offset System for Greenhouse Gases (GHG) this fall.

The Offset System is a component of Canada's Turning the Corner Plan, which includes carbon trading, credit for early action and a technology fund. It provides businesses with the option of using credits to meet mandatory GHG emission reduction targets.

"The Offset System for Greenhouse Gases: Guide for Protocol Developers" provides information on how to prepare and complete an offset system quantification protocol. A protocol describes the approach to identify and measure GHG reductions from eligible projects under Canada's Offset System.
Canada's Offset System will issue credits for GHG emission reductions from activities that are not subject to mandatory targets under the Turning the Corner plan. Industrial producers will be able to acquire these credits and use them to meet their mandatory GHG reduction obligations. The credits will help fund projects that could include clean electricity generation such as wind or solar projects, methane capture and destruction from landfill gas, and reforestation and other forestry projects.

In addition to using offset credits, companies can pursue a variety of other compliance options, including reducing emissions within their organizations, making contributions to a technology fund, trading for credits with regulated firms that emit less than their regulatory target, earning credit for early action, and accessing the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism.

Two additional guides - "The Guide for Project Proponents" and "The Guide for Verification Bodies" - will be published later this summer.

SOURCE: Blackstone Group

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