Glossary

GLOSSARY

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Additionality

A general principle determining that each GHG reductions go beyond current practices (Business-as-usual) and that without carbon revenues the change would not have taken place. There are toolkits available to analyze it in order to determine its eligibility.

Anthropogenic Emissions

They are GHG emissions caused by human activities, such as the use of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for forestry and agriculture.

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement

Commonly known as ITMO (International Trading Mitigation Outcome), this article provides for a GHG emissions trading system (of the Cap & Trade type) between countries that emit too much GHG and countries that emit less. Concretely, GHG reductions achieved by a State signatory to the Paris Agreement could be bought by another. Discussions have been underway since 2015 on how this could be done.

Canadian Federal Government Carbon Pricing

The federal carbon pricing system is designed to recognize that pollution has a price, to empower Canadians, and promote clean and sustainable growth. Under the federal approach to carbon pricing, all direct proceeds from carbon pricing are returned to the province or territory of origin.

The majority of the direct proceeds from the federal fuel levy in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan are returned to individuals and families in the form of Climate Action Incentive payments. Individuals can claim this payment on their 2019 income tax and benefit return. In Nunavut, Yukon and Prince Edward Island, direct proceeds are remitted directly to the provincial or territorial government.

WILL’s submission to ECCC on federal pricing (August 2020)  

Capital Flight of Carbon Credits

This is the purchase of carbon credits (CrC) from outside Quebec by Quebec organizations subject to the SPEDE. (See the analysis produced by WILL on this subject in January 2019).

Carbon Footprint

It is the measurement of the amount of GHGs emitted or captured in the atmosphere over a year by an organization’s activities within a defined perimeter; this can include fossil fuel use (CO2), landfilling of waste (CH4), land-use change, fertilizer manufacturing and use (N2O), and process emissions.

Carbon Neutral

Aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere or to offset emissions that could not be reduced by taking environmentally responsible actions.

Carbon Offset

Represents a credit from projects that reduce or eliminate GHGs from the atmosphere and “offsets” GHG emissions. It is also a commitment and participation in the climate solution and its beneficial effects for future generations.

Carbon Social Cost (CSC)

It is an indicator commonly used to measure the expected economic damage of CO2 emissions. Climate change can have an economic impact in various ways, some are gradual, such as the cost of cooling buildings, while others are more dramatic, such as damage to buildings caused by an extreme weather event. Some costs are not market costs (public health, environmental damage), while others are such as additional costs on agricultural crops (e.g. coffee, fruits, cereals, etc…).

For WILL, the purchase of SC carbon credits at a price closest to the Carbon Social Cost (CSC) is a fair climate contribution that ensures a transfer and distribution of wealth for the posterity of future generations.

Climate Action

Revolves around the “mantra measure, reduce and contribute”. First, measure GHG emissions on an annual basis. Second, introduce behavioural measures or technologies to reduce emissions and finally, to contribute to global efforts by offsetting incompressible GHG emissions by becoming carbon neutral.

Climate Projections

In December 2020, researchers managed to reduce some of the uncertainties surrounding the future of the climate. They assume that the dangerous threshold of global warming, the +1.5°C mark, will be crossed between 2027 and 2042. And not by 2052, according to the latest IPCC assessment. Shaun Lovejoy, one of the authors, hopes that their new model will lead to “less room for manoeuvre” and, no doubt, more action.

CO2e

A common unit of measurement under which different greenhouse gases are grouped. The CO2 equivalent (CO2e) is, for a greenhouse gas, the concentration of CO2 that would have the same capacity to retain solar radiation.

Cohort

The grouping of GHG reduction quantifications from SC members in order to have the accuracy of the quantification calculations verified by an external firm, which is ISO 1406 certified. In 2021, WILL Solutions launched its 5th cohort.

Decarbonization

Gradually reducing or limiting the use of fossil fuels.

Ecoresponsible

According to the Office québécois de la langue française, an eco-responsible person is a natural or legal person, behaviour or activity that takes into account the principles of long-term sustainability for the physical, social and economic environment.

EFCU

Early Finance Carbon Units (EFCU) are the next generation of financial tools that will serve to accelerate change by promoting upstream financing of future carbon projects both for GHG sequestration and reduction.

Energy Transition

The process of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, which requires a structural change in the way energy is produced and consumed.

A transition is first and foremost a balancing act between the old and the new.

Free Emission Allowances

They are issued annually by the MELCC only to ≈80 emitters who emit > 25,000 tCO2e/year/installation and who are exposed to commercial trade, such as aluminum smelters, steel mills, cement plants and pulp and paper mills, which are considered more vulnerable to “carbon leakage” than others.

Global GHG Emissions

The Climatewatch organization has estimated global anthropogenic emissions for the year 2017 to be in the order of 49.95 billion tCO2e.

Greenhouse Effect

The retention by the atmosphere of a fraction of the infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface under the effect of solar radiation.

Greenhouse gases (GHG)

Gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, which are emitted naturally or anthropogenically, and absorb infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere and clouds. The increase in their concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere is one of the factors causing global warming. The main GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapour (H2O), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N20), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

Greenwashing

A marketing or public relations strategy used by an organization (company, national or territorial public administration, etc.) in order to give itself a misleading image of ecological responsibility.

IPCC

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC aims to study the evolution of climate change and its consequences. In a report published in 2018, the IPCC indicated that to maintain the trajectory to limit global warming to 1.5oC, we need to reduce global GHG emissions by 45% from the year 2010 to the year 2030.

ISO 14 064

The ISO standard is made up of three parts, each dealing with the specificities and guidelines applicable at the level of organizations or projects on greenhouse gas emissions.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

A detailed picture of the impacts of a product or service on climate change, human health, ecosystem quality and diversity for each stage of its life, i.e. its manufacture, use and disposal.

Micro-project

The actions and measures taken by the members participating in the Sustainable Community project. A member can have more than one micro-project identified and quantified under the Sustainable Community.

Mitigation of Climate Change

The implementation of actions, measures and policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to reduce the effects of climate change. Carbon credits, carbon taxation, carbon sequestration are some examples of mitigation measures.

MRV

Monitoring, Reporting & Verification (MRV) refers to the mechanisms that ensure the integrity of the calculations for the quantification of GHG reductions that will be converted into carbon credits.

Nature Based Solutions (NBS)

When ecosystem services are used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to conserve and develop carbon sinks. NBS have been increasing significantly since 2019.

NetZero

A movement initiated by B Corp on December 11, 2019, following the COP25 of the Paris Agreement, of which WILL has been a signatory since the winter of 2020. It is an immediate commitment to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to reach a trajectory of 1.5 degrees leading to Net Zero by 2030, 20 years before the 2050 targets set in the Paris Accord.

Ownership of GHG Reductions

Without any contrary indication, a GHG reduction (measurable and verifiable) belongs to the person who is at the origin of it, either through behavioural change or the integration of clean technologies. In any case, the reduction is attributed instead of being achieved, and its acquisition is comparable to a voluntary philanthropic donation.

Permanence

A GHG reduction is permanent when it is sustainable and non-reversible.

QA/QC

Quality Assurance and quality control (QA/QC) is an element of quality management that is part of the GHG emissions reduction quantification process.

Quantification of Reductions

The calculation of eligible GHG reductions for a validated project, based on a recognized quantification and verification methodology.

Real GHG Reductions

All GHG reductions and the projects or programs that generate them must be demonstrated to have actually occurred.

Regulated Floor Price

First of all, a floor price is a minimum price to which a seller or buyer is subject. In an effort to integrate externalities into the economy, mechanisms exist to associate a price to them. For example, the Canadian floor price (government pricing) announced on December 11, 2020, will increase throughout this decade to reach $170 CAD/tCO2e/year in 2030.

Regulated Offset Credits

Carbon credits that are certified by the SPEDE and that come from GHG reduction projects quantified according to protocols defined by the SPEDE regulations and that lead to the issuance of offset credits (CrCs). They can be sold to emitters subject to the SPEDE in order to be used to meet their compliance obligations.

Right of Issue

Issued by the Minister of MELCC, they correspond either to a greenhouse gas emission unit, an offset credit or a credit for early reduction, or any emission right issued by a partner entity, each having a value corresponding to one metric ton of GHG in CO2 equivalent.

Right to Pollute

Due to the limits of the use of markets, a majority of stakeholders seek to negotiate the lowest price for carbon credits in the hope of contributing to the climate challenge at a lower cost in a pure and simple market logic.

This is an unnatural paradox that is well underscored by carbon market veteran Mark Trexler. There is an analogy in quantum physics to the fact that future climate costs are always related to the price paid now! It will take much more than investing in renewable energy.

SPEDE

Quebec’s cap-and-trade system is a Cap & Trade type carbon market mechanism in place since January 1, 2013.

Sustainable Community (SC)

A solution designed by WILL Solutions. It has been built around the VM0018 quantification and verification methodology developed by WILL and certified in 2012 under the VCS program. It gathers GHG reduction projects deployed on a specific territory and is supported by a third-party validation from a VVB.

Treewashing

The art of greenwashing by planting trees, or showing the willingness to plant them.

Uniqueness

A principle that ensures that each carbon credit resulting from a reduction of 1 tonne of GHG avoids double counting of each qualified GHG reduction. The individual serialization of each verified and serialized tonne of GHG is a mechanism that eliminates double accounting.

Read WILL’s blog on double accounting (May 2019) : HERE

Validator Verificator Body (VVB)

Validation entity for carbon projects and/or GHG reductions validation arising from a carbon project

VCS

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program, administered by VERRA, is the most widely used voluntary GHG program in the world. The program allows certified projects to convert their GHG emission reductions and removals into tradable carbon credits. As of December 29, 2020, 1,676 projects have been certified, including the first Sustainable Community solution deployed in Quebec by WILL.

Verifiable Reduction

A verifiable GHG reduction is a reduction that has already been achieved and is fully and sufficiently documented so that a verifier who is a member of an ISO 14 065 accredited verification body can, through an objective on-site review of the GHG reduction project, confirm its achievement and accuracy.

VERRA

Verra was founded in 2005 by environmental and business leaders who recognized the need for greater quality assurance in voluntary carbon markets. They now serve as the secretariat for the various standards they develop and the programs they manage such as the VCS program.

Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM)

A trading mechanism for GHG emission reductions converted into carbon credits that are not linked to regional, national or international regulatory obligations. The voluntary carbon market, therefore, includes offsets that are purchased with the intention of reselling or retiring them to meet carbon neutrality or other environmental claims. Voluntary demand for carbon offsets is fuelled by companies and individuals who take responsibility for offsetting their own emissions before emission reductions are required by regulation.

WCI

Quebec joined the World Climate Initiative (WCI) in April 2008. Since 2014, the WCI has brought together Quebec and California, which have adopted a common approach to fighting climate change, notably through the development and implementation of a cap-and-trade system for GHG emissions.

Quebec and California have defined the obligations of their subject companies, including the terms of their participation, such as the nature of emission rights, protocols for carbon credits, and quantitative and territorial limits on their use.