Ontario has picked up the pace on addressing climate change. On
May 18, 2016, the provincial government passed the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon
Economy Act, 2016 (the
"Act"),1quickly followed by two regulations on
May 19, as well as two guidance documents incorporated into the
regulations by reference:
As noted in a previous article, Ontario is currently one of the
largest per capita greenhouse gas emitters in the world. The
Ontario government intends to use the cap-and-trade program as a
market mechanism to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emission
levels and transition the province to a low-carbon
The Act sets out the framework for the cap and
program including requirements for quantifying, calculating,
reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions, and submitting
allowances and credits to match greenhouse gas emissions. It also
provides the rules for creating and distributing allowances and
credits through free allowances, auctions and sales, and it
establishes an offset program.
The Cap-and-Trade Regulation and incorporated Methodology set out the details of the
cap-and-trade program including caps, compliance periods, rules
related to registration and participation, details regarding who is
a mandatory participant and who can participate as a voluntary or
market participant, as well as information on allocating emission
The Reporting Regulation and incorporated Guideline set out more details regarding
quantifying, calculating, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas
Coordination with Other Jurisdictions
The Act allows for agreements to link Ontario's
cap-and-trade program with programs in other jurisdictions as part
of a broader international effort to reduce emissions.3
As we mentioned in a previous article, in 2008, Ontario joined with other
jurisdictions, including Québec and California, to create
Climate Initiative model cap-and-trade program. Québec
and California already have carbon markets, and Ontario has
structured its cap-and-trade program to ultimately align with these
Greenhouse Gases and Reduction Targets
The Act and Reporting Regulation list the greenhouse gases that
are covered by the regulatory regime including: carbon dioxide,
methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons,
sulphur hexafluoride, nitrogen trifluoride5
Consistent with earlier drafts, the Act sets the following
targets for reducing Ontario's overall greenhouse gas emissions
from 1990 baseline levels:
A 15% reduction by the end of
A 37% reduction by the end of 2030;
An 80% reduction by the end of
These targets are aligned with the recommendations made by the
Panel on Climate Change. The regulatory regime allows the
government to make these targets more stringent and to establish
additional interim targets.7
1 Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy
Act, 2016, S.O. 2016, c. 7 (the "Act").
2 Act, s. 2 (Purpose).
3 Act, s. 76.
4 Ontario Regulation 144/16 - The Cap-and-Trade Program
(the "Cap-and-Trade Regulation") specifically provides
for Quebec and California as designated jurisdictions
(Cap-and-Trade Regulation, s. 1(1)).
5 Act, s. 5; Cap-and-Trade Regulation, Schedule 1. The
government may add other greenhouse gases by regulation going
forward (Act, s. 5).
6 Act, s. 6(1).
7 Ibid., ss. 6(2) and (3).
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.
The prospect of an internal investigation raises many thorny issues. This presentation will canvass some of the potential triggering events, and discuss how to structure an investigation, retain forensic assistance and manage the inevitable ethical issues that will arise.
From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.
Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.
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...
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.
In June, 2016, Justice Faieta of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded damages of $57,712.31 plus interest against legal counsel who failed to file a claim within the required limitation period.
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).