The Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) asked landfill operators to join the nation’s first Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) Offset Credits program.
ECCC Minister Steven Guilbeault announced the release of the final protocol for municipal solid waste landfill operators to begin producing offset credits for each ton of carbon-equivalent of methane they capture and destroy.
“Starting with landfills, we’re putting in place a market-based mechanism to incentivize businesses and municipalities to invest in the technologies and innovations that cut pollution,”the minister said.
The program’s plan is for municipalities to earn federal offset credits that equal the total of GHG emissions reduced and sell the credits to industrial facilities so that they comply with yearly emission limits.
Methane is an element of natural gas and a byproduct of landfill organic waste. Estimates show it has a 80-86 times higher global warming potential than carbon in the first two decades after its release.
Municipal landfills produce a quarter of methane emissions, and together with industrial wood waste landfills are responsible for 27% of GHGs.
The Environment and Climate Change Canada will release protocols for the industrial refrigeration, DAC, agriculture and forestry later in 2022 so that these sectors also participate in the federal offset CO2 program. ECCC will also release a strategy to reduce methane in all industries, including oil and gas, before the UN COP27 this November.
The ECCC’s Landfill Methane Recovery was first released as draft at the beginning of the year. It will apply to sites in Canadian provinces that do not yet have their own offset protocols. Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia already have their own programs, while Saskatchewan is currently working on one.
Landfills that have earned offset credits in a provincial program would not be able to claim them in a federal program unless they comply with rigorous criteria, the protocol said.