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Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice has announced that the government is moving forward with its Offset System for Greenhouse Gases (GHG).

"This system is one of several steps we are taking as we finalize our domestic regulatory framework for greenhouse gas emissions, and marks a major milestone as we move towards establishing a carbon market in Canada," says Prentice.

The Offset System will establish tradable credits and encourage cost-effective domestic GHG reductions in areas that will not be covered by planned federal GHG regulations.

Potential projects that could qualify for offset credits include wind energy, methane capture and destruction from landfill gas, afforestation and other forestry projects, and agricultural soil management.

Companies subject to the GHG emissions regulations will be able to purchase offset credits on the carbon market and use those credits for compliance with their regulated targets. In addition, other parties, such as small businesses and individuals, will be able to acquire and use these credits to voluntarily offset the GHG emissions from their activities.

The two draft guides that will be published in the Canada Gazette on June 12 propose rules and guidance on the requirements and processes used to generate offset credits and to verify the eligible GHG reductions achieved from a registered project. Interested parties will have 60 days to comment on these guidance documents.

The release of these two draft guides follows the publication of the first draft guide in August 2008, which proposed the rules and guidance to quantify GHG reductions for projects in Canada's Offset System. The final versions of all three Offset System guides are expected to be published this fall after all comments have been reviewed.

For more information, visit ec.gc.ca.

SOURCE: Office of the Minister of the Environment



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