A Canadian pilot project designed to allow industry and government to experiment with emission reduction trading has been extended for two years. Launched in June 1998, the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Trading (GERT) program was originally scheduled to wrap up at the end of 1999. Extending its operation through 2001 will "allow more Canadian companies to gain practical experience with this innovative approach to managing emissions," says GERT manager Warren Bell. The pilot reviews both bilateral trades and offers to sell, documenting the actual emissions reductions using site or project specific baselines. Reductions registered through GERT will be recognised in any future full-scale national trading scheme. Fourteen projects, including one involving the sale of wind power by a Calgary-based utility to the federal government, are currently being evaluated by GERT. The wind trade is expected to reduce CO2 emissions on the coal dominated Alberta electricity grid by 31,104 tonnes between 1997 and 2008. Other applications before GERT include small hydro, fuel switching, landfill gas utilisation and forestry projects. Over the next two years, says Bell, the pilot will focus on reviewing a wide variety of projects and trades, and on defining monitoring and verification requirements. Partners in the GERT pilot include Canada's federal government, six provincial governments, one regional government, seven industry associations and four environmental and other non-governmental agencies.
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