Canadian government buys greenhouse gas emission cuts

CALGARY, Alberta, March 8, 2004 (ENS): The government of Canada has launched a new call for proposals for greenhouse gas emission reduction projects under the Pilot Emission Removals, Reductions and Learnings (PERRL) initiative. Successful proposals will use forests and crops to store the most prevalent greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), which is emitted by the burning of fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas.

PERRL is seeking proposals to enhance carbon sinks on agricultural and forest land. Forests and agricultural soils absorb and store CO2 from the atmosphere, and the government sees them as playing a key role in Canada’s efforts to address climate change.

PERRL offers Canadian companies and organizations economic incentive to take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through projects in sectors such as landfill gas capture, renewable energy and carbon sinks.

PERRL is also intended to help public and private sector organizations develop a better understanding of how several key elements of emissions trading work. Emissions trading may be an important element in Canada’s overall climate change strategy, the government says.

Through PERRL, the government of Canada purchases greenhouse gas emission reductions and removals from qualified projects on a fixed price per metric ton basis. Projects are selected and reductions are purchased through a competitive auction process.

The first round of proposals, launched in 2002, secured commitments to achieve close to 900,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions reductions from Canadian landfills by the end of 2007, at an average cost of just over C$3.30 per ton.

In the second round, PERRL called for proposals for renewable energy projects. These proposals are currently being reviewed and results will be announced shortly.

This latest auction round will provide $2.5 million to new carbon sink enhancement projects, split equally between agriculture and forestry. A final round of bids will be called later in 2004, inviting proposals for projects in all areas covered under previous rounds - landfill gas capture and combustion, CO2 capture and geological storage, renewable energy and carbon sinks.

The provincial and territorial governments were active and constructive partners in developing PERRL, and there is ongoing opportunity for them and other potential partners to participate in the program.

Alberta’s Climate Change Central is a partner in PERRL, having contributed $50,000 to sponsor the purchase and retirement of emission reductions from Alberta based projects.

Through PERRL, municipalities, industry and other partners have demonstrated Canadian excellence in developing innovative climate change solutions that serve the environment, the economy and society, while contributing to the achievement of our international commitments.

PERRL project submissions for the current round are being accepted until April 6, 2004 via the MERX electronic tendering service at: http://www.merx.com.

Visit the PERRL Web site at: http://www.ec.gc.ca/PERRL for full details on PERRL and on how to participate in this program.

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