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KAP responds to Federal GHG Offset System

KAP responds to Federal GHG Offset System

Keystone Agricultural Producers staff submitted a list of recommendations on the system under development

Staff Writer

Staff at Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) want to ensure farmers’ needs are considered in the development of the Federal Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offset System.

So, KAP staff submitted a list of seven recommendations that the Government of Canada should consider when creating the system.

The Federal GHG Offset System has “been under development for quite some time and (the government) sought input from all stakeholders,” said Alanna Gray, a policy analyst with KAP.

The system encourages cost-effective domestic GHG emission reductions from voluntary activities not covered by carbon pollution pricing, states the federal website.

This system would allow farmers to participate in the program since they sequester and store carbon, said Gray.

“They're going to be able to generate the offset. So, farmers could have a project and, if it meets the protocol criteria, their project could be eligible in an offset system. Then, an organization, company, manufacturer or someone who is over his or her emissions threshold could buy those credits that are generated by farmers,” Grady told

The KAP staff’s recommendations focused on what farmers already do and how their privacy can be protected. The team identified gaps in national inventory reporting system (NIR), and underscored that government officials should consult farmers and the industry representatives on best practices. Finally, government representatives must monitor if and how this program influences land values.

“If carbon will be stored in the soil, and there is a price on carbon, it's unclear if that will impact the value of land. So, we've asked them to monitor the impact of the federal offset system on land values,” said Gray.

The recommendations also focus on how Canadian Agricultural Partnerships may overlap with the offset system, as well as more ensuring accurate accounting for the ag sector category of the NIR.

“Some of the emissions reductions that are being done in agriculture are specifically left out of NIR reporting. So, it makes it look like we're emitting more than we may actually be. An example of this is fertilizers. Farmers use what's called enhanced efficiency fertilizer, which inherently emits less greenhouse gases, but growers are not getting credit for that within the NIR,” said Gray.

KAP staff want to ensure farmers are involved the discussions as the federal government develops this system, said Gray.

“We would like to see some positive messaging around the good work that farmers are already doing. You hear farmers are stewards of the land and there’s a lot of talk about sustainability, but there's a lot of really great work being done out there that could get credit through a system like this. We want to see that happen,” she said.

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