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Definition of criteria required for the issuance of offset credits

The following definitions were developed based on recommendations from the following official document from WCI:


An additional GHG reduction is one that would not have occurred under a business-as-usual scenario; the reduction is larger than what regulatory requirements and common practices would produce.

An additional GHG reduction would not have taken place without additional incentives. The WCI additionality criterion provides that reductions must result from efforts that go beyond common practices and the most stringent regulatory requirements of any WCI Partner Jurisdiction.


A permanent reduction is a lasting reduction that is not reversible. However, given the nature of some projects and the environment in which they will be implemented, it is possible that unintended and random events could occur during the lifetime of the projects. These events could cause the sequestered GHGs to be released back in the atmosphere.

All offset projects must define their risk level as to a possible re-emission of sequestered GHGs. In the case of projects where there is a risk that the GHG emissions reductions are reversible, mechanisms must be put in place so that, if an emissions reduction is reversed, the effect on the climate is as neutral as possible for a period of 100 years.

As a precaution, a portion of offset credits generated by an offset project is placed in the Minister's environmental integrity account in order to neutralize an eventual re-emission of GHGs. Such offset credits can be extinguished in the event GHG emissions reductions become ineligible after credits are issued. Subject to a special rate under a protocol, a 3% rate is levied on each project and placed into the Minister's environmental integrity account. For GHG sequestration projects, specific rates for each type of project will be determined when these protocols are integrated into the regulation.


A verifiable reduction is one that has already occurred and is completely and sufficiently documented such that a qualified auditor who is a member of a verification body accredited under ISO 14065 can, by an objective review of the offset project site, confirm its completion and accuracy.


A real reduction one that:

  • results from a clearly identified action or decision by the promoter;
  • is quantified using methods that are reliable, reproducible, based on the best available science, appropriate to the project’s GHG source and take into consideration local conditions;
  • is quantified in a conservative manner that appropriately accounts for uncertainty thresholds and applies the necessary reduction factors that minimize the risk of overestimating emissions reductions;
  • does not lead to leaks, representing increases in GHG emissions elsewhere that would, in whole or in part, cancel the benefits associated with a project’s GHG emissions reductions.

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