On November 24, 2015, the Ontario government released its
long-term Climate Change Strategy (CCS) as part of the
province's expanding climate change policy development
Ontario has previously set the following greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions reduction targets:
15 percent below 1990 levels by 2020
37 percent below 1990 levels by 2030
80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050
The CCS sets out, in broad strokes, how Ontario intends to
achieve these targets. Five crucial areas are identified for
transformative change over the next decades:
Develop a Prosperous Low-Carbon Economy with World-Leading
Innovation, Science & Technology
Engage in Government GHG Policy/Bridge-Building both
Domestically and Internationally
Increase Resource Efficiency of Energy, Water and Land
Reduce GHG Emissions Across Key Sectors
Adapt to a Changing Climate
The CCS is intended to be supported by a series of five-year
detailed action plans, the first of which will be released in
Cap and Trade Program Design Options
The Ontario government has recently advanced 4) Reduce GHG
Emission Across Key Sectors by releasing design options for a cap and trade program.
Ontario intends to link its cap and trade program with Quebec and
California and possibly other jurisdictions. The Ontario government
is seeking feedback which will be compiled and presented to various
stakeholders in early 2016, following which the government will
release a draft set of regulations for the cap and trade program.
The topics are:
Linking with Quebec and California
Program Scope: Sector Coverage, Point of Regulation;
Emissions Coverage; New and Expanding facilities;
Enforcement and Penalties: 3-to-1 Rule; Account
Restrictions; Administrative Monetary Penalties
Ontario's recent climate change policy development mirrors
recent activity in other Canadian jurisdictions, most notably
Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan. The United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change annual Conference of the Parties
(COP21) is set to begin November 30, 2015, and many premiers will
be accompanying Prime Minister Trudeau, including premiers from
Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, P.E.I. and
Nunavut. It will be interesting to follow how the federal
government attempts to fold a variety of sub-national GHG emission
reduction committees into a comprehensive federal commitment.
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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.
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