In November 2016 the provincial government invited comments on the Ontario Cap and Trade Program: Offsets Credits Regulatory Proposal. GIO submitted comments expressing support for the Province’s proposed approach of legislating an offset market as potentially offering new opportunities for ecosystem-based carbon sequestration related activities. Three main comments were included and are summarized briefly below. Click to read the full submission.
1. Urban forest projects should be recognized for their multiple benefits. We hope that the regulations will take co-benefits in to consideration when assessing the value of offset credits and expect that Ontario’s Climate Action Plan and other legislation will compensate for this by providing additional non-market oriented investment support that recognizes these significant co-benefits of trees in urban forests.
2. Municipal governments, educational institutions, utilities, and Conservation Authorities should be eligible to act as offset project operators or sponsors. We recommend that the regulations clarify the potential roles that these entities might be able to play and that those roles include acting as offset project operators and/or sponsors.
3. Consider Urban Forest Management Plans to be eligible for carbon offset credits. In California, Urban Forest Management Projects designed to increase carbon sequestration through planting and conservation are granted carbon offset credits. These projects can only be submitted by municipal governments, educational institutions, utilities and large forest owners. We recommend that consideration be made for the inclusion of Urban Forest Management Plans and how they may be supported through this regulation.
You can find all provincial government submissions that GIO has made here.