Canada: Recent Federal And Alberta Developments In GHG Reduction Initiatives

This bulletin highlights two recent developments relating to the federal and Alberta governments' respective efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and transition toward a low carbon economy:

  • On June 15, the Government of Canada announced the $2 billion Low Carbon Economy Fund. As an important part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the fund is intended to foster investments in clean growth and emissions reduction projects.
  • On June 16, the Government of Alberta announced that it had taken receipt of a consensus panel report by the Oil Sands Advisory Group (OSAG), which outlines certain recommendations for implementing the 100 megatonne per year oil sands emissions limit under the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan.

What You Need To Know

  • The federal Low Carbon Economy Fund will assist the efforts of eligible provinces and territories to reduce GHG emissions in support of Canada's 2030 emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels. The fund will include two parts:
    • The Leadership Fund, which was launched June 15, 2017, will provide $1.4 billion in funding to signatories of the Pan-Canadian Framework (which currently includes all provinces except Saskatchewan and Manitoba), including a base amount of $30 million for each signatory plus additional funding based on population size.
    • The remaining $600 million will be made available through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which will launch in the fall of 2017 to support eligible projects by provinces, territories, municipalities, indigenous groups, businesses, and not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.
  • With respect to Alberta's 100 megatonne limit on oil sands emissions, OSAG's recommendations include early actions to reduce emissions and more stringent actions as emissions approach or exceed the annual limit, including mandatory reductions by the top half of highest emitting facilities. Facilities that exceed the authorized amount could face a $200 per tonne penalty. The province will consult with stakeholders before proceeding with policy design and implementation.

Federal Low Carbon Economy Fund

As a key part of the Pan-Canadian Framework, the $2 billion Low Carbon Economy Fund will support projects that generate clean growth and reduce GHG emissions towards meeting or exceeding Canada's commitments under the Paris Agreement. Funding will be provided over the next five years through two streams: the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund and the Low Carbon Economy Challenge.

Launched on June 15, the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund provides $1.4 billion to provinces and territories that have signed on to the Pan-Canadian Framework, which to date include all provinces except Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Each signatory is eligible to receive a base amount of $30 million plus additional funding based on population size. Over the next several months, the federal government will engage eligible provinces and territories on their proposed projects and will develop bilateral funding agreements in respect of approved projects.

The remaining $600 million in funding will flow through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which will launch this fall to support "ambitious projects" that leverage Canadian ingenuity to reduce emissions. Such projects may be submitted by all provinces and territories as well as municipalities, indigenous governments and organizations, businesses, and both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.

To be eligible for funding under the Low Carbon Economy Fund, the emissions reductions associated with a project must be material, incremental to existing actions, contributing towards Canada's 2030 emissions reduction target and as cost effective as possible. For all projects, proponents may partner with other eligible entities and flow funding to them, subject to approval by the federal government.

For more information on the Low Carbon Economy Fund, visit the Government of Canada's website.

Alberta Oil Sands Advisory Group Report

In July 2016, the Government of Alberta established the OSAG to advise on the oil sands aspects of the province's Climate Leadership Plan, including an annual emissions limit of 100 megatonnes for the oil sands industry (which currently emits about 70 megatonnes of GHG per year). In its latest report, OSAG's recommendations include early actions to further reduce emissions and more stringent reviews and compliance actions as emissions approach or exceed the annual limit.

Examples of early actions recommended by OSAG include (i) requirements for new facilities and expansions to use the "best available technology economically achievable," (ii) submission of non-binding GHG management plans, (iii) preparation of a technology roadmap and costs of abatement technologies by innovation entities, and (iv) changes to resource recovery requirements to no longer require emission-intensive portions of a resource to be recovered.

OSAG also recommends the establishment of information systems and accompanying standards to trigger reviews (e.g., at the 80 megatonne and 95 megatonne marks) as oil sands emissions approach the yearly limit. No further compliance actions beyond carbon pricing are recommended at this stage to directly limit emissions. If the 10 year forecast indicates that oil sands emissions are anticipated to exceed the yearly limit within 5 years, more stringent actions would be triggered, including the establishment of a buffer reserve of emission allowances. Moreover, if the 100 megatonne limit is expected to be exceeded within the year, then the 50th to 100th percentile of highest emitting facilities would face mandatory emissions reduction requirement, such that: (i) the 50th to 75th percentile would share one-third of the reduction requirement, and (ii) the 75th to 100th percentile would share two-thirds. If a facility exceeds the maximum emission intensity limit (within an acceptable level of variability), the excess amount would be authorized from the buffer reserve. If such excess falls outside an acceptable level of variability, OSAG recommends a penalty equal to the greater of $200/tonne, or a certain multiple to be determined in the regulatory drafting process of the applicable carbon levy.

OSAG advised the Alberta government to exclude emissions from primary, experimental and enhanced recovery oil sands sites, and from electricity cogeneration (with reference to the emission intensity of a benchmarking power plant).

The province will now consult with key stakeholders before proceeding with policy design and implementation. For more information on OSAG's recommendations, visit the Government of Alberta's website.

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

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
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).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.