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From: Joint Implementation Network, The Netherlands

Volume 2 Number 1 April 1996

Canada prepares JI Pilot Initiative

In Spring this year, the Government of Canada launched its National

Action Program on Climate Change (NAP). The program sets

strategic directions which support Canada’s policies to meet its

commitment to stabilize GHG emissions at 1990 levels by the year

2000. The program furthermore includes guidance for action which

could be implemented beyond 2000. In the framework of the NAP the

Federal Government of Canada invites the Canadians (local

governmental institutions, business community as well as citizens)

to initiate actions on a voluntary basis which could contribute to

reducing or offsetting Canada’s GHG emissions.

The implementation of the NAP is to a large extent based on the

Voluntary Challenge and Registry (VCR), which was officially

launched in late 1994. As can be read in NAP the VCR ‘...will

encourage all sectors to explore cost-effective actions, and to imitate

actions taken by sectoral leaders.’ The main task of the VCR will be

to guide individuals and organizations interested in undertaking GHG

emission reducing or offsetting measures. Furthermore, the program

consists of recognition and evaluation provisions. Projects recognized

by VCR will officially be indicated as early actions in contributing to

Canada’s long-term environment goals.

In NAP a section is included which deals with the Canadian intention

to set up a Joint Implementation Pilot Initiative. Together with

provincial and territorial governments, industry, and environmental

groups the Federal Government of Canada is currently developing this

initiative, of which the key objectives include:

- contributing to global efforts to reduce net emissions of greenhouse

gases through voluntary partnerships between Canadian and foreign


- encouraging private-sector initiatives to develop and disseminate

technologies and build capacities with other countries;

- testing and evaluating methodologies for initiating JI; and,

- gaining early, practical experience that can be used to develop a

longer-term JI program both domestically and internationally.

The Canadian JI Pilot Initiative aims to encourage the setting up of JI

pilot projects which:

- improve energy efficiency in other countries;

- achieve GHG emission reduction cost-effectively;

- are sustainable over the longer term; and

- have other social, environmental and economic benefits.

The Voluntary Challenge and Registry (VCR)-Participant’s Handbook

was published in August 1995. Through the VCR the JI project can

be recorded, monitored, and publicly reported on a regular basis. This

procedure will be made as transparent as possible, so as to facilitate

the future review of the project results by the FCCC bodies.

The VCR Participant’s Handbook contains guidelines for both

reporting of domestic and international projects. Although companies

would ideally provide detailed project information on such things as

baseline determination, provisions for measurement and verification of

net GHG emission reduction, and provisions for monitoring and

verifying results, it is recognized that the level of sophistication of

reporting will increase with experience. For the reason of gaining

experience, the Government of Canada wishes to have the broadest

participation possible in its JI pilot program and would not preclude

projects from the registry and the program, simply for lack of

information. The guidelines have been drafted in a way which helps

eligible participants prepare their proposals for submission, rather

than to restrict participation in the program.

In addition to the recently published guidelines, Canada also views a

facilitation role for government as a key aspect of ensuring the

success of the Canadian JI Pilot Initiative. To this end, the

Government of Canada is pursuing opportunities for bilateral or

multilateral agreements which could open the door for Canadian

project proponents.


Box 1 Canadian private sector involvement in JI

Recently, some private sector representatives in Canada have shown

their interest to be involved in JI. As an example, TransAlta Utilities in

Calgary has voluntarily set a corporate goal to stabilize its net GHG

emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. In order to achieve this,

TransAlta could, among others, purchase international offsets

through JI. In this respect, TransAlta supported and participated -

together with the Chilean company CAP S.A. - in the World

Business Council for Sustainable Development (study) project

Catalyzing a Market for Joint Implementation.

Another example of a Canadian initiative with a JI element in which

the private sector participates, is through Memoranda of

Understanding (MOUs) between industry associations and the

Federal Government of Canada. These MOUs commit associations

to cooperate with the Government to further develop and promote the

VCR. CAPP will be encouraged to prepare voluntary action plans to

reduce the emissions of GHG or enhance sinks. To date, similar

MOUs have been signed with the Canadian Association of Petroleum

Producers, the Canadian Electrical Association, the Canadian Gas

Association and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association. Under

these MOUs, one of the categories in which actions could be

undertaken is to purchase offsets domestically or internationally.

International actions are referred to as JI.


For further information, please contact:

Kristi Varangu,

Environment Canada,

Ottawa Ontario,


tel.: +1 613 996 6081

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