Ontario's Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon
Economy Act, 2016, which provides for the initial
distribution of free allowances at levels comparable to current
emissions, passed on May 18, 2016, and its companion regulation (O. Reg. 144/16) was adopted on May 19, 2016.
The legislation is very similar to that proposed in February, with
more favourable treatment of particular industries such as
cogeneration and biomass facilities.
The regime provides for the initial distribution of free
allowances at levels comparable to current emissions. Regulated
entities (industries with more than 25,000 tonnes of
CO2-equivalent emissions, natural gas distributors,
electricity importers and petroleum suppliers) are required to
gradually reduce emissions, purchase allowances from the government
or seek allowances or credits in the carbon market. Compliance
obligations start on January 1, 2017, with the first compliance
period running until December 31, 2020. The first Ontario-only
auction of emission allowances is slated for March 2017, and
Ontario is expected to link shortly thereafter with the
Québec-California carbon market.
Separate regulations regarding administrative monetary penalties
and First Nations impact mitigation are expected to be released
later this year. Rules regarding offsets and credits for early
action are also expected. The ministry intends to continue
consultation with respect to offsets and facility shutdowns.
With Alberta announcing details regarding its carbon tax in
April and British Columbia's amendments to its carbon tax
legislation earlier this year, the provincial governments have been
making strides in establishing a price on carbon and thus
implementing programs to meet their carbon
emissions–reduction targets. However, Canada will have
difficulty meeting its international carbon
emissions–reduction commitments without a more coordinated
framework for carbon pricing.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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