Alberta frequently claims to be "greening" its dirty,
fossil-fuel industries: coal and oil sands. One major, much-vaunted
initiative is the Greenhouse Gas emission system in the Specified Gas Emitter
Regulation. The regulation requires large
emitters of greenhouse gases to either reduce the intensity of
their own emissions, or to "offset" their emissions in
one of the following ways:
Pay the modest sum of $15/tonne into the Climate Change and
Emissions Management Fund;
Use emission performance credits—When regulated
facilities achieve actual emissions intensity that is less than
their emissions intensity limit, they create emission performance
credits. A facility may use credits it created in prior years or
use credits that other regulated facilities created; or
Purchase offsets—When non-regulated facilities or
sectors engage in activities that reduce emissions (for example,
wind energy projects) or enhance emissions removal from the
atmosphere (for example, reduced-till or no-till agricultural
projects), they create offsets.
Carbon offsets – both voluntary and mandatory
– have the potential to create huge reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions, and many other social benefits, at much
lower costs than direct emission reductions. However, there have
been many problems in ensuring that the carbon offsets are, in
truth, achieving their stated reductions. Effective validation,
verification and auditing are critical to give offsets credibility.
The ISO 14064/14065 series of standards set out international
principles for such processes, but they haven't yet been much
followed in Canada.
The Globe and Mail notes that the tillage credits
may have been created for short-term political gain, as it allowed
the province to buy support from farmers for its carbon-market
plan. And in theory, agriculture could provide meaningful carbon
reductions and offsets. However, the Auditor General's report
will add to cynicism about Alberta's continuing claims to be
"greening" its fossil fuel industries, as well as to
Canada's international black eye on climate.
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It is relatively common knowledge that the government has a "duty to consult" aboriginal groups when undertaking actions or making decisions that could adversely affect aboriginal rights, aboriginal title and treaty rights.
On April 5, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada released the report of an external Expert Panel that was established in August 2016 to review the scope and process of federal environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
40 to 60 years may be too old when determining whether to extend a limitation period for a negligence-based environmental contamination claim, the court recently ruled in Brookfield Residential (Alberta) LP (Carma Developers LP) v Imperial Oil Limited, 2017 ABQB 218 [Brookfield].
Our April 7 post on the report of the Expert Panel reviewing federal environmental assessment processes noted that the report contains recommendations for greater inclusion of Indigenous peoples in federal environmental assessment processes.
Over the past week, the Project Law Blog has been discussing the recommendations set out by the Expert Panel in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes.
On April 5, 2017 the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change received her report from an expert panel of four, comprised of three lawyers with significant environmental and aboriginal law experience as well as a retired senior executive of a resource company.
On April 5, 2017, an Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the "Panel") released its report, Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes (the "Report").
Last week we summarized the recommendations set out by the Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes.
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