Ontario may introduce cap and trade

The Ontario government has announced on its Environmental Registry a proposed framework for a GHG cap and trade program. It is impossible to tell at this point how serious the government might be about such a program but the proposal is at least interesting.

The idea is to put the program in place one year before federal regulations, which are themselves expected to be enacted in 2016, though this date is unlikely to be reliable. The proposed program elements include

  • Achieving absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in a cost‐effective way that considers competitiveness and supports achieving equivalency with the federal government
  • Simplicity, consistency, transparency and administrative efficiency
  • Striving to treat sectors and facilities equitably
  • Taking into account early action by industry leaders
  • Using accurate and verified emissions data to support policy development
  • Promoting evelopment and deployment of clean technologies
  • Considering broad alignment with other emissions reduction programs of similar rigour that provides opportunity for linking in the future
  • Considering integration with other provincial environmental policies

The ministry is considering applying the program, at a minimum, to the same industrial sectors as to be regulated by the federal government. At this time, this includes fossil fuel‐fired electricity generation and large emitters from petroleum refining, chemicals (including fertilizer manufacturing), steel, cement and pulp and paper sectors.

The detailed proposal is at http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTE4MzMy&statusId=MTc3MDg5&language=en with comments due by April 21st.

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