Alberta was the first province in Canada to develop legislation regulating greenhouse gas emissions requiring large industrial emitters to report their emissions and take actions to make mandatory reductions. This legislation, the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation under the Climate Change and Emissions Management Act (The 'Act'), set requirements for facilities emitting more than 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year to reduce baseline emissions intensities by 12 per cent, as of July 1, 2007. The Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation replaces the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation on January 1, 2018. Updated regulations and publications are available at:
Passed in 2003, Alberta's Climate Change and Emissions Management Act was the first legislation pertaining to climate change in Canada. The Act recognizes Alberta's need for a sustainable environment and wise management of natural resources.
Innovative technologies that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, and the establishment of target emissions, are to be developed without impairing economic growth. The Climate Change and Emissions Management Act is available through the Alberta Queen's Printer online catalogue.
The following is a list of the regulations under the Climate Change and Emissions Management Act:
- Administrative Penalty Regulation
- Fund Administration Regulation
- Renewable Fuels Standard Regulation
- Specified Gas Emitters Regulation now Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation
- Specified Gas Reporting Regulation
In order to meet the reduction targets, regulated facilities have four compliance options:
- Reduce internal On-Site Emissions;
- Purchase and use Alberta-based Emission Offsets;
- Contribute to the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund; or
- Purchase or use Emission Performance Credits
The Alberta Emissions Offset Registry (AEOR) and the Emissions Performance Credits (EPC) Registry, as operated by CSA Group in coordination with the Government of Alberta, provides the infrastructure to support the ability for regulated facilities to be compliant with the Regulation through the transparent display of Alberta-based emission offsets and/or Emission Performance Credits. These essential carbon registries track ownership of carbon offset credits and emission performance credits to demonstrate facility-level compliance with carbon reductions outlined within the Act, and ensures traceability and transparency of the process.
Alberta Emissions Offset Registry (AEOR)
The purchase of Alberta-based emission offsets is one of the four compliance options for regulated entities under the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation in Alberta. This compliance mechanism is issued, tracked and managed by CSA Group using the online, publically accessible, registry platform. The AEOR lists all projects and emission offsets that have been created and as applicable, used for compliance under the Act since its inception in 2007.
The standard unit for all GHG credit registries is, one carbon offset credit (emission offset) represents a one-tonne reduction or sequestration in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions expressed in CO2e, resulting from an independently verified GHG project. Carbon offset projects range in scope and involves implementation of a new management practices, technology and/or control systems that reduce or remove emissions of a given process. All projects listed on the AEOR must meet system requirements for real, demonstrable and quantifiable reductions of emissions, and are verified by an independent third party.
How does Alberta's Offset System Work?
This option for large industrial emitters to comply with their reduction obligation under the Regulation is to purchase and use offset credits from other activities that have voluntarily reduced their emissions within Alberta.
To qualify for offset credits, projects must follow strict government approved protocols that ensure emissions reductions are real, demonstrable, and quantifiable, additional to what would have occurred otherwise and registered on the Alberta Emission Offset Registry. Once registered, the offsets can be sold to Alberta's regulated companies that have not met their provincially mandated reduction obligation. The price facilities pay for the offsets is market driven so the price varies.
Allowing regulated facilities to use market-based compliance tools such as emission offsets creates incentive for Albertans from all areas of the economy to innovate and invest in activities that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions - from farmers to municipalities to small industry developers.
To find out more about the AEOR, please click the link below
Emissions Performance Credit (EPC) Registry
The purchase or use of Emissions Performance Credits (EPCs) is another one of the four compliance options for regulated entities under the Regulation in Alberta. This compliance mechanism is tracked and managed by CSA Group using the online and publically viewable registry EPC platform. EPCs are credits generated by regulated facilities that have reduced below their reduction target specified in the Regulation. These additional reductions are generated as an EPC, where one tonne of CO2e reduced is equal to one EPC. EPC credits are revocable licenses which can be banked or retired by facilities subject to the Regulation to meet their net emissions intensity limit.
In order for facilities and their associated companies to manage or purchase EPCs, they must create a user account and register their facilities on the Alberta EPC Registry and would then be issued EPC credits from the Government of Alberta before the EPC credits can be used as a compliance option.
To find out more about the EPC registry please click the link below