In the absence of recent activity at the federal government
level, Canadian provinces continue to take the lead on climate
change initiatives. In late November, Canada's two most
populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, issued a Memorandum of
Understanding in which they agreed to collaborate on
"concerted climate change actions" said to include
harmonizing data collection and GHG reporting requirements,
exploring the use of market based mechanisms in Ontario, sharing
knowledge and promoting the transition to a low carbon economy
through initiatives such as setting a price on carbon and adopting
cleaner fuel standards. The MOU also says the two provinces will
strengthen joint efforts to increase collaboration with the
government of Canada and provincial and territorial governments.
The MOU specifically states that it does not create legally binding
obligations on Ontario and Quebec and it may be terminated by
either province on two months' notice.
In early December, on the eve of the COP20 negotiations in Lima,
the governments of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, together
with the government of California, United States issued a
"Joint Statement on Climate Change" in which they stated
they will collaborate on mid-term greenhouse gas emissions
reductions to maintain momentum toward 2050 targets. Ontario also
announced that this year it will release a comprehensive action
plan to reduce emissions.
Meanwhile in Alberta, the government has just extended the
Specified Gas Emitters Regulation to the end of June 2015. The
regulation has been in place since 2007 and provides the framework
for requiring the reduction of GHG emissions intensity levels from
large industrial emitters. In addition to being necessary to
maintain the regulatory framework, the extension was said to
"ensure the smooth transition from the current strategy to the
new framework expected be in place in the new year". Alberta
says it is currently "exploring options to address climate
change". No indications have been given as to what those
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Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change continues to roll out its Climate Change Action Plan with its proposed GHG guide for projects that are subject to the province's Environmental Assessment Act.
The Imperial Oil refinery pled guilty to one offence for discharging a contaminant, coker stabilizer, thermocracked gas, into the natural environment causing an adverse effect and was fined $650,000...
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