On July 23, 2009, the Voluntary Carbon Standard Association (VCSA) announced that it will now allow voluntary offset projects in Canada to issue its internationally recognized Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) without evidence from the Canadian government that the corresponding number of Kyoto compliance units (called “Assigned Amount Units,” or AAUs) have been cancelled. This evidentiary precondition was unattainable for developers because the Canadian government would not issue a letter confirming cancellation of the AAUs, in effect rendering all offset projects in Canada ineligible for VCU issuance. The letter had been “required” by the VCSA to mitigate the risk that the emission reductions underlying VCUs would also be counted as reductions in Canada’s aggregate emissions (hence “double-counting” the benefit of the reductions). The VCSA Board concluded that the requirement should no longer be applicable in Canada because without any reasonable prospect of a Kyotocompliant regulatory framework or Kyoto-compliant emissions reductions in the country, there would be no risk of double-counting.

Until this development, many projects that were rendered ineligible in Canada for the reason stated above would have been eligible if located in the United States because the latter did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The VCSA announcement can therefore be expected to create a significant incentive for the development of offset projects in Canada.

For further details, please see http://www.v-c-s.org/docs/VCS%20News%20Release,%20Canadian%20VCUs,%20FINAL.PDF.