Since the 1990s, regional initiatives around the world have redoubled to fight against climate change. In 2008, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), of which Quebec is a partner, was put in place in North America. Its objective is to permit its participants to take a common approach to facing climate change.
The quantification of greenhouse gas emissions allows them to be turned into carbon credits. This process permits an organization, having reduced it greenhouse gas emissions, to communicate its new strategic plan to its stakeholders.
For example, company A reduces its greenhouse emissions. By quantifying and having the reductions verified, company A transforms them into credits. The credits are measured in carbon ton equivalents.
Once the quantification of credits has been verified, it must be recorded in a recognized register.
Thereafter, they can be sold on the carbon market.
Company B didn’t reduce its emissions, but wishes to compensate for its failure. After quantifying its emissions, it will seek to purchase carbon credits. This thereby permits Company B to support a positive environmental project.
It is win-win situation for both parties: Company A receives a financial gain by selling its product, and company B supports a project permitting greenhouse gas reductions.
The carbon market is divided into two segments:
The Regulated Market: The regulated market is governed by precise rules. Since January,2013, a regulated market has existed in Quebec by virtue of the Cap and Trade system for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (SPEDE) to which certain emitters must conform.
The Voluntary Market: The voluntary market is not governed by governmental rules. It is normalized by certification programs. This market consists of actors who voluntarily wish to reduce or to compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions.
Currently, Enviro Ecocredit deals in the following four types of environmental attributes:
- Carbon Credits
- Water Credits
- Energy Efficiency Credits
- Biodiversity Credits
These attributes are obtained by way of an independent accreditation process that involves three steps:
- Quantification of the environmental impact
- Independent third-party validation/verification
- Project registration in a publicly recognized register.