Programs and Initiatives

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Help is available for farmers and ranchers in Alberta to access a number of different programs. For those interested in gaining experience with new environmental markets, there's opportunity to sell offsets in Alberta's carbon market from management improvements that lower greenhouse gas emissions.


Provincial and federal funding is available to help farm operations lower greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.

  • One of the five programs that the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) will deliver support for Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change. Launched on April 3, 2018, this five-year federal –provincial-territorial investment replaces Growing Forward 2 to encourage strategic programs and initiatives for the agricultural sector.
  • In December 2017, $1.4 billion in provincial Climate Leadership Plan funding was announced to continue the transition to a diversified, low-carbon economy. More than $81 million over the next four years is now being made available for the agriculture sector through the Climate Leadership Plan and the federal government. For more information visit the the Farm Energy Agri-Processing Program (FEAP).
  • Growing Forward 2 was increased by $10 M from Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan to augment On-Farm Energy Efficiency, On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics (PV), Irrigation Efficiency and Accelerating Innovation. Subscribe on the website to be alerted about changes.
  • If you live outside the boundaries of a natural gas distributor, the Remote Area Heating Allowance program can help with costs of heating oil and/or propane purchases until March 31, 2019. For more information, listen to a Call of the Land interview.
  • Energy Efficiency Alberta programs to support residential and commercial energy efficient retrofits

    Shifting to a Low Carbon Future

    In 2007, Alberta became the first authority in North America to require companies with high greenhouse gas emissions to lower their emission intensities. The Specified Gas Emitters Regulation allowed regulated companies to buy carbon offsets from others who voluntarily lower emissions. Amendments in 2012 required more records to prove that a practice improvement had occurred. Carbon market prices were raised to $30 / T CO2e in 2017 and requirements for regulated companies to lower emissions increased. The new Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (2018) continues to provide opportunities for carbon offsets.

    Carbon Offsets

    Alberta’s carbon market is the first of its kind in North America to offer opportunity for farmers and ranchers to sell carbon offsets from voluntary improvements that lower greenhouse gas emissions.

    Carbon offsets from voluntary practice improvements that lower emissions in the agriculture sector can be bought by regulated greenhouse gas emitters in Alberta to meet their requirements.

    Agriculture and Forestry has actively been developing, supporting and collaborating with agricultural groups to develop standardized offset protocols for farmers and ranchers who want to sell carbon offsets in Alberta's carbon market. These Government of Alberta approved quantification protocols describe the:

    i. Science basis for emission reduction and/or removal from a practice change
    ii. Policy approach to identifying practices that are "above and beyond business as usual"
    iii. Verifiable records needed to prove that the practice improvement has occurred.

    Voluntary improvements from conservation cropping, capturing biogas from manure and managing fed cattle resulted in offset sales of over $ 170 M for emission reductions of close to 13 Mt of CO2e between 2002 and 2014.

    Please see our overview of opportunities to sell agricultural offsets in Alberta’s carbon market using approved offset protocols for cropping, livestock and energy management.

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    For more information about the content of this document, contact Sheilah Nolan.
    This document is maintained by Laura Thygesen.
    This information published to the web on January 9, 2017.
    Last Reviewed/Revised on January 24, 2019.