The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is pleased to provide comments to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Discussion Paper, “Developing a Voluntary Carbon Offsets Program for Ontario”.
In the spring of 2015, Ontario announced its intention to create a provincial Cap and Trade Program as a mechanism to place a price on greenhouse gases. OFA accepted this direction under the condition that the Cap and Trade System included opportunities for unregulated sectors (i.e. agriculture) to create and market offset credits and our continued acceptance of Cap and Trade is largely predicated on the ability of Ontario’s agricultural sector to engage in the creation, development, and marketing of carbon offset credits.
We are pleased to see that the MOECC is starting the conversation on a voluntary carbon offsets program. The agricultural sector has been disappointed that after more than a year under the Cap and Trade Program, neither a compliance or voluntary carbon offsets market has been established, and no carbon offset protocols applicable to the agricultural sector have been approved.
We believe this represents a significant missed opportunity to develop robust, made-in-Ontario solutions to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and a missed opportunity to provide our famers with much-needed relief from the added costs that have been applied to their inputs.