The Alberta emission offset system is a regulatory program managed by the Alberta Climate Change Office that enables facilities regulated under the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation to purchase and retire emission offsets to meet compliance obligations.
The Standard for Greenhouse Gas Emission Offset Project Developers comprehensively outlines the processes involved in the involvement of the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation. Version 3 is effective as of 1 January 2020. Part 1 of the standard is considered to be part of the mandatory legal framework of the Carbon Competitiveness Act. To have an offset project approved, the developer must use one or more existing quantification protocols, or seek approval for a deviation. The developer must register emission offset projects (or a set of aggregated projects) with the provincial Registry. At any point after registration, the government may select a third-party auditor to re-verify the registered project. Then, the developer must submit a completed project plan for each offset project (or set of aggregated projects) with a specified crediting start date and crediting period.
Part 2 provides some general guidance. One of the example offset projects that it highlights (in Table 1) is a methane reduction project from replacing or retrofitting pneumatic devices. There is further discussion of what projects at conventional oil and gas facilities may be eligible to generate offset credits, having to do with whether the facility is subject to the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation. In any event, methane projects can continue to generate offset credits because the Incentive Regulation does not reach methane.
Developers are subject to recordkeeping requirements as well.