News & Updates
Look below for current WCI news and updates.  For older news and updates, see the news archive.

Development of WCI Offset Protocols PDF Print

The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) Partner jurisdictions will be reviewing offset protocols to support the WCI cap-and-trade program. In a series of design documents released over the last several years, WCI recommended the creation of rigorous and consistent offset protocols, and processes for reviewing and developing offset protocols in an open and transparent way. WCI Partners will begin the review and evaluation of the protocols listed below. 

Offset Protocols for WCI Review 

  • Avoided CH4 from Manure Management (cows and pigs) 
  • Ozone Depleting Substances 
  • Coal Mine Methane
  • Small Landfills

WCI may also consider reviewing additional protocols relating to municipal and industrial waste water treatment, forests (all project types), fertilizer application N2O emission reductions, rice cultivation, and enteric fermentation.

Important Note: The WCI Partner review of these protocols, or any others, does not constitute an endorsement or approval of these protocols, or any existing credits issued under those protocols, as being eligible for use in any WCI jurisdiction program
 
Seventh ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change PDF Print

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is organizing the Seventh ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change, on May 29-31, 2012, in Montreal, Canada.

The event will be co-organized with the government of Canada and will be hosted by Prompt. This is the seventh symposium on climate change following successful events held between 2008 and 2011 in Kyoto, London, Quito, Seoul, Cairo and Accra.

The main purpose of the event is to move the agenda forward on using information and communication technologiy (ICT) to monitor climate change, mitigate and adapt to its effects and, in this light, identify future requirements for ITU’s related work – including standardization of ICT equipment and networks as well as development activities.

More details and registration information can be found on the event invitation and the ITU website.

 
Final Recommendations Offset System Process Available PDF Print

An efficient offset system, consistent across WCI Partner jurisdictions, will help ensure an adequate supply of high-quality offsets

February 22, 2012

The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) Partner jurisdictions today release final recommendations for the requirements and process of offset project review and approval, and credit creation for the implementation of state and provincial greenhouse gas emissions trading programs.

The WCI Design Recommendations (2008) recommended the establishment of a rigorous offset system to support the WCI cap-and-trade program. The Design for the WCI Regional Program (2010) recommended essential criteria for high-quality offsets, and that standards and processes for approving offset projects be developed in an open and transparent manner. The final recommendations in this paper support these objectives.

The final recommendations identify the critical elements of offset project approval that WCI Partner jurisdictions believe will lead to high-quality offset credits that can be exchanged across the region. Consistent, transparent processes are expected to lower project development costs and support learning and sharing of experience among Partner jurisdictions and offset project developers. Stakeholder engagement, third party involvement, and regulatory oversight combine to ensure the environmental integrity of the program.

The final process recommendations incorporate stakeholder feedback on the draft offset system process released July 2011. The Offset System Process Final Recommendations are available here. The WCI Partners hosted a briefing with stakeholders on the recommendations on Friday, March 2, 2012. The presentation can be downloaded here.

 
Stakeholder Update: WCI Unveils Steps To Develop North American Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Program PDF Print

January 12, 2012

At today's public stakeholder meeting in San Francisco (presentation available here). the partners in WCI demonstrated a commitment to address climate change with a clear path towards a linked program to reduce greenhouse gases.  This will create the largest carbon market in North America and provide a model that can guide future efforts to establish a creative roadmap for future national approaches in both Canada and the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This marks a significant step forward in our efforts to fight climate change. It will help clean the air, create new jobs, and establish WCI as a leader in the effort to reduce our dependence on petroleum and move toward a clean energy future.

 
Final Essential Requirements for Mandatory Reporting: Amendments to the Canadian Harmonization version – Second Update PDF Print

December 21, 2011

The WCI today releases updated Final Essential Requirements for Mandatory Reporting  for use in Canadian Partner jurisdictions “the Canadian ERs.” This is the second update to the WCI Essential Requirements, which were originally published on July 16, 2009 and first amended in the Canadian ERs published on December 17, 2010.  

This update is designed to be adopted by Canadian jurisdictions for 2012 calendar year emissions, due to be reported in 2013. Where no amendments to specific quantification methods are made in this package, the December 17, 2010 Canadian ERs remain in effect. The following updates have been made:

  1. WCI.020 (General Stationary Combustion)
    1. Biomass emission factor revisions
    2. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide equation improvements
    3. Refinement to sampling, analysis and measurement procedures; and
    4. References to test standards updated
  2. WCI.040 (Electricity Generation), WCI.090 (Cement Manufacturing), WCI.210 (Pulp and Paper Manufacturing), WCI.160 (Lead Production), and WCI.240 (Zinc Production) –
    1. Minor clarifications made in each method
    2. Clarification made on where to report black liquor emissions
  3. WCI.350 (Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution) and WCI.360 (Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems)
    1. Clarified and updated application of different quantification methods and information to be reported
    2. Simplified equations to basic units
    3. Split reporting for pneumatic devices and extended phase-in period for metering
    4. Updated and harmonized acid gas removal venting or incineration methods
    5. Deleted incorrect well venting for liquids unloading equation and clarified application of method
    6. Updated equations for gas well venting during well completions and workovers
    7. Clarified by adding method for well testing venting and flaring where very little hydrocarbon liquids are produced
    8. Incorporated EPA methods for centrifugal compressors and expanded method to include dry seal venting
    9. Allowed application of emission factor approach for small oil and gas compressors
    10. Removed limitation on choice of storage tank methods
    11. Corrected equipment references for application of leak detection and population count methods
    12. Clarified application of population count method and extended phase-in for specific measurements
    13. Further incorporated known field gas compositions into various methods
    14. Clarified reporting of third-party line hits and transmission storage tanks
    15. Updated emission factor tables and added manufacturer bleed rate tables

Updates were made for the following reasons:

  1. Stakeholder comments/issues provided to jurisdictions during the first and second years of mandatory reporting were compiled and evaluated by the Reporting Committee and incorporated where appropriate.
  2. On November 30, 2010 the U.S. EPA published Subpart W, covering oil and gas sources. In the December 2010 Canadian ERs, the WCI evaluated and incorporated a subset of the Subpart W oil and gas quantification methods. In order to harmonize the methods, the WCI Partners directed the Reporting Committee to develop for publication in 2011 amended Canadian ERs that are further harmonized with the EPA rule and also meet the demands of a cap and trade program, while simplifying reporting as much as possible. This package incorporates the Canadian version of the updates to meet the WCI Partner direction.

 

Revisions to Subpart W that were published on December 2, 2011 have not been reviewed in detail and will be subject to further review by the WCI. During this process, further stakeholder comment on the WCI.350 and WCI.360 quantification methods will likely be sought.

 
Final Offset Protocol Review and Recommendation Process Available PDF Print

December 19, 2011

A standard process to review offset protocols and recommend them for adoption into WCI Partner jurisdictions' rules and regulations will help ensure an adequate supply of high-quality offsets. 

The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) Partner jurisdictions today release the process to review and recommend offset protocols.

The WCI Design Recommendations (2008) recommend the establishment of a rigorous offset system to support the WCI cap-and-trade program. The Design for the WCI Regional Program (2010) recommends essential criteria for credible offsets, and that standards and processes for approving offset projects be developed in an open and transparent manner in advance of the start of the cap-and-trade program. The process to review and recommend offset protocols for adoption into WCI Partner jurisdictions support these objectives.

There are a number of offset protocols that have been developed and are in use in North America and across the globe. This final process provides a step-by-step description of how WCI Partner jurisdictions will review existing offset protocols in regards to how they meet WCI offset criteria. WCI Partner jurisdictions believe this process is fair, efficient, and will lead to high-quality offset credits that can be exchangeable across the region. Consistent, transparent processes are expected to lower project development costs and support learning and sharing of experience among WCI Partner jurisdictions and offset protocol developers. Stakeholder engagement, third party involvement, and regulatory oversight combine to ensure the environmental integrity of the program. The final process incorporates stakeholder feedback on the draft process released July 2011. The Final Offset Protocol Review and Recommendation Process is available here 

 
Québec Adopts Cap-and-Trade Regulation PDF Print

December 16, 2011

On December 15, 2011, Québec's Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand announced the adoption of the Regulation respecting the cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances, which is based on the rules established by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI).

"Cap-and-trade systems for emission allowances are recognized as one of the most effective and least costly economic tools for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By adopting this regulation, Québec acquires the means to achieve the transition toward a green, sustainable and prosperous economy", declared Minister Arcand.

Québec thus officially steps to the starting line, next to California. The first year of implementation of the system will be a transition year. It will begin on January 1, 2012 and will allow emitters and participants to familiarize themselves with how the system works. Over the course of the year, emitters will also be able to make any adjustments that may be necessary to meet their obligations under the system for capping and reducing GHG emissions, which will come into force on January 1, 2013.

Industrial establishments subject to the system are those that emit 25 000 tonnes or more of CO2 equivalent per year. Note however that starting in 2015, companies that import or distribute in Québec fuels that are used in the transportation and building sectors (and whose combustion generates an amount of GHGs greater than or equal to 25 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year) will also be subject to the capping and reduction of their emissions.

For all participating members of the WCI, the adoption of a regulation establishing a cap-and-trade system for GHG emission allowances is the first of two main steps toward the emergence of a regional North American carbon market. The second step will consist of concluding a series of recognition agreements, between the different partners, to link their systems together.

"The results of the international conference on climate change at Durban show clearly that regional initiatives like the WCI play a key role in efforts to reduce GHG emissions worldwide. Québec is one of the leaders in the fight against climate change, and that is something to be proud of," concluded the Minister.

More information, including links to the text of the regulation, is available on the website of the Ministère at: http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/changements/carbone/Systeme-plafonnement-droits-GES-en.htm

 
Western Climate Initiative Jurisdictions Establish Non-Profit Corporation to Support Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Programs PDF Print

November 10, 2011

The Western Climate Initiative is pleased to announce the creation of Western Climate Initiative, Inc. (WCI, Inc.), a new non-profit corporation formed to provide administrative and technical services to support the implementation of state and provincial greenhouse gas emissions trading programs. The initial Board of Directors for WCI, Inc. includes officials from the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, and the State of California.

WCI, Inc. will:

  • Develop a compliance tracking system that tracks both allowances and offsets certificates;
  • Administer allowance auctions; and
  • Conduct market monitoring of allowance auctions and allowance and offset certificate trading.

Coordinating the acquisition and delivery of services through WCI, Inc. will ensure efficient technical and administrative support for the jurisdictions' emissions trading programs. By forming WCI, Inc. the participating jurisdictions are furthering their commitment to linking their respective greenhouse gas emissions trading programs. The services provided by WCI, Inc. can be expanded to support jurisdictions that join in the future.

British Columbia, California, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba are continuing to work together through the Western Climate Initiative to develop and harmonize their emissions trading program policies. They are also continuing to work with Western, Midwestern, and Northeast states on a range of other climate and clean energy strategies through the North America 2050 Initiative. North America 2050 is a forum for states, provinces and stakeholders to identify leadership opportunities in climate and clean energy policy.

For more information visit the WCI, Inc. website.

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