Canada tests CO² emissions trading scheme

Two pilot projects in greenhouse gas emissions trading have provided Canada with real experience in a trading system that the government hopes will assist it in meeting targets to reduce CO² emissions.


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The first project involved the purchase of almost 90,000 tonnes of CO² emission credits by Ontario Power Generation. The company bought credits from Star Lake Partnership, which earned them by replacing fossil-fuel generated power with hydro-electric power.

Emission credits earned by Pacifica Papers of Vancouver constitute the second pilot project. A buyer for Pacifica’s credits has not yet been found. The paper company replaced three conventional natural gas boilers with a wood waste boiler. Resulting emission reductions total between 92,000 and 117,000 tonnes of CO² equivalent per year.

The two projects were reviewed by the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Trading Pilot (GERT), a collaborative effort involving provincial and federal governmental agencies, industry associations, environmental organisations and other NGOs.

GERT’s aim is to learn about emission reduction credit trading by working with actual trades. Emission reductions generated from trade-matched projects will be submitted annually to GERT for registration and will be included on the Canadian Greenhouse Gas Credit Registry.

Canada’s national CO² emissions reduction target is 6% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.

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