On April 13, 2015, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that
her province will join Québec and California's cap-and
trade-program for the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
Ontario's participation in the program is intended to limit
and, over time, significantly reduce its emissions.
The primary mechanism of a cap-and-trade system is prescribed
and enforceable greenhouse gas emission caps. These are established
for industries and commercial enterprises in specified
sectors of the economy. Those regulated are required to acquire
allowances to emit to their capped levels. Allowances may be traded
between regulated entities. The cost of the allowances, either when
issued by government or as set in the allowance trading market,
creates a cost for the emission of carbon, the price incentive to
A cap-and-trade system may also permit offset credit creation
– the creation of credits which may be used just as emission
allowances are used, although to a limited percentage of one's
total emissions. Offset credits may be derived from projects in
unregulated sectors which limit or avoid greenhouse gas emissions.
They may only be created in accordance with approved protocols,
such as in Québec for landfill gas capture.
The design of the system is critical to its effectiveness, the
regulatory burden it imposes and its cost to the economy.
Ontario's announcement on Monday indicates there will now be a
period of consultation in the coming months on design elements.
However, much of the design can likely be gleaned from what is
already in place in Québec and California, and
the work of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), which is the
foundation for the Québec – California
Fundamental to the system will be the levels of the caps –
to what percentage of historic emissions for each sector are the
caps to be set? What, if any, credit will be available for early
action, pre-regulation greenhouse gas reductions? Which sectors
will have to pay for their allowances, and how will those prices be
set? Which sectors may be granted allowances gratis as a means of
easing their adjustment into the system? What projects will be
considered for offset credit creation, and under what offset
protocols? And of course we look forward to an announcement as to
the first compliance period.
Ontario's Climate Change Discussion Paper 2015 identified
the relative contribution to greenhouse gas emissions in the
Province by commercial sector:
Clearly transportation, industrial and building emissions are
the largest contributors to the Province's emissions. Emitters
in those sectors likely have the largest stake in the design of the
Just prior to the PanAm games, on July 7, 8 and 9, 2015, Ontario
will host the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto.
Representatives from North, South and Central America's
national and sub-national governments are expected to be
present. Might this be a platform for announcements of further
expansion of the Ontario-Québec-California
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).