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Offset credits

Register of offset credit projects

Process leading to the issuance of offset credits


Frequently asked questions

User Support


The purpose of the offset credit component is to decrease compliance costs borne by an emitter without undermining the system’s environmental integrity.

Offset credit projects are voluntarily implemented by a promoter (individual, organization or company) wishing to reduce or sequester GHG emissions in sectors of activity or sources other than those subject to compliance obligations of the Regulation respecting a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances.

Purchasing offset credits can enable an emitter subject to the Regulation to meet regulatory compliance obligations.

The use of offset credits as a means of regulatory compliance has been limited to 8% in order to maximize emission reductions by entities and sources covered by the system.

Main requirements

Only offset credit projects meeting the conditions described in Chapter IV of Title III of the Regulation and covered by one of the protocols listed in Appendix D of the Regulation are eligible to receive offset credits. Projects that began on or after January 1, 2007 are also eligible if they meet those conditions.

Please note that offset credit project promoters must first be registered in the CITSS system and have an active account.

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Current offset credit protocols

The implementation of offset credit projects is governed by a protocol that determines the rules to be followed in order to ensure compliance with the requirements for transparency, coherence, comparability, accuracy, verifiability, effectiveness and validity of projects and credits to be issued.

The Regulation lists five offset credit protocols:

  • Protocol 1 – Covered manure storage facilities – CH4 destruction;
  • Protocol 2 – Landfill sites - CH4 treatment or destruction;
  • Protocol 3 – Destruction of ozone depleting substances (ODS) contained in insulating foam or used as refrigerants removed from refrigeration, freezer and air-conditioning appliances;
  • Protocol 4 – Active coal mines – Destruction of CH4 from a drainage system;
  • Protocol 5 - Destruction of CH4 from ventilation air.

Offset credit projects and credits issued on September 27th, 2017


Project title Credits issued (tCO2e)
Landfill sites – CH4 destruction
LE001 - Reduction of GHG emissions at the closed landfill Marchand 33 558
LE002 - Reduction of GHG emissions at the closed and opened landfill La Lièvre 15 372
LE003 - Capture and Destruction of Biogas - Area B at the opened landfill RDL 14 667
LE004 - Reduction of GHG emissions at the closed landfill Saint-Raymond 8 492
LE005 - Reduction of GHG emissions at the opened landfill Marchand 3 335
LE006 - Reduction of GHG emissions at the opened landfill Saint-Flavien 4 116
LE007 - Reduction of GHG emissions at the opened landfill Gaspé  
LE008 - Capture and Destruction of Biogas – opened landfill Nouvelle-Beauce  
LE009 - Reduction of GHG emissions at the opened landfill Val d’Or  
Destruction of ozone depleting substances SACO-001 - ODS Extraction and destruction 161 510 
SACO002 -  Extraction and destruction of ODS contained in isolating foam or used as refrigerants 322 943
Total 563 993

For more details on offset credit projects submitted, please refer to the register of offset credit projects.

To learn how to obtain offset credits, read the Process leading to the issuance of offset credits.

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Process for developing an offset credit protocol

The Ministère is responsible for developing offset credit protocols. Members of the public may submit their vision, comments and needs regarding the subject to the Ministère at any time.

While developing an offset credit protocol represents a large amount of work, existing protocols on voluntary and regulated markets can serve as a basis and be used as references.

Nonetheless, a good deal of work is involved since protocols must be adapted to the requirements of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and the specificities of Québec. They must also be harmonized with the regulations of other WCI partner states and provinces. Once the technical version of a protocol has been completed, it must be incorporated into a draft regulatory amendment and go through public consultation. Before the protocol can be enacted in the Regulation, the briefs that have been received must be analyzed, which may involve making technical or legal modifications to the protocol to be enacted.

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Work in progress

An afforestation and reforestation protocol, which will be applicable on private forest lands in Québec, is currently being developed and will ultimately be the subject of a public consultation.

Furthermore, Québec and Ontario have begun joint work on adapting several offset credit protocols. In September 2015, the Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, announced that Québec and Ontario had committed to working together on adapting offset credit protocols. The new protocols targeted by the work primarily concern the agriculture, forestry and residual materials sectors. Learn about the process and how the work is progressing.

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Proposing activities that could be considered for offset credit protocols

Suggestions may be submitted for activities that could eventually be subject to protocols. In order to be considered, the proposed activity must not be covered by regulatory requirements imposed by Québec’s cap-and-trade system or any other Québec laws, regulations or permits, or those of its partner jurisdictions. Additionally, the activity concerned must at a minimum meet the main criteria required for the issuance of offset credits: GHG emission reductions must be additional, real, verifiable and permanent.

When proposing the development of a new offset credit protocol, it is therefore recommended that the following information be provided so that a comprehensive assessment of the request can be performed:

  • Potential for reduction or sequestration in Québec;
  • Detailed description of the activity eligible for the issuance of offset credits, and description of the reference scenario;
  • Issues related to the reference scenario and project scenario;
  • Quantification methodology;
  • Monitoring and accountability.

In cases involving the adaptation of an existing protocol on voluntary or regulated markets, the name of the program issuing the offset credits must also be provided along with the title and version of the protocol to be assessed.

Once this information is received, the Ministère will be able to determine whether the project submitted offers significant potential for reducing GHG emissions. If so, it could be added to a list of projects that might eventually be subject to an offset credit protocol.

Although activities that could eventually be subject to an offset credit protocol may be proposed, priority is given to offset credit protocols that are currently being developed.

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