In November 2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) announced that it would be kicking off a process to develop a clean fuel standard (CFS) in support of Canada’s commitment to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The CFS, which is included as part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change released in December 2016, would require reductions in the carbon footprint of fuels supplied in Canada, based on a lifecycle analysis. On February 24, 2017, ECCC released a discussion paper for consultation on the proposed new CFS.… Continue Reading
McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Power Group has launched the 2nd edition of its publication, ‘Canadian Power – Key Developments in 2016/Trends to Watch for in 2017’. The publication provides a detailed overview of significant developments in the Canadian power sector over the past year, as well as emerging trends that will be relevant in the coming year. Content includes in-depth regional analyses of developments in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Québec, as well as commentary on the impact of specific issues on the power sector, such as recent M&A activity and developments in aboriginal law and environmental regulations … Continue Reading
As Ontario puts the finishing touches on its cap-and-trade program, which will commence on January 1, 2017, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has released its Compliance Offset Credits Regulatory Proposal (the Regulatory Proposal) for a 45-day public comment period that will end on December 30, 2016. Under the cap-and-trade program, capped facilities will be required to either reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or meet their compliance obligations through other regulatory tools, including the use of offset credits. As a compliance mechanism, offset credits provide emitters with greater flexibility and potentially lower cost options to meet their … Continue Reading
The Paris Climate Change Agreement came into force on November 4, 2016 and as global efforts get underway to implement the agreement, the Canadian federal government continues to craft its strategy to shift Canada to a low-emissions economy. At the recent United Nations climate change conference (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco that was held from November 7 – 18, 2016, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced Canada’s Mid-Century Long-Term Low-Greenhouse Gas Development Strategy (the Long-Term GHG Strategy) at COP 22, making Canada one of the first countries to do so.… Continue Reading
Last November, the Alberta government released its Climate Leadership Plan, setting out the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030, to be replaced with two thirds renewable energy generation and one third natural gas generation. Then, the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO) was subsequently directed to develop an incentives program for renewable generation.… Continue Reading
Last year’s election ushered in Alberta’s first regime change since 1971, resulting in a wave of policy changes involving renewable generation development, the phase-out of coal-fired generation, and emissions and carbon tax policy. This update captures certain key aspects to these changes and takes stock of things to come.
Alberta’s provincial government released its Climate Leadership Plan (Climate Plan) in November of 2015, as discussed in a previous post. This post focuses on the following key Climate Plan policy announcements affecting the power industry:
- incentives for renewable generation,
- phase-out of coal fired generation emissions by 2030,
The week of October 3, 2016 was an eventful one for Canadian climate change policy as the federal government introduced a pan-Canadian carbon price and ratified the Paris Agreement. Following the federal election in October 2015, indications were that all provinces and territories would be expected to price carbon. This was confirmed on October 3, 2016 when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will set a minimum price on carbon starting at $10 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2018, which will increase by $10 per year until it reaches $50 per tonne … Continue Reading
The BC government released its long awaited Climate Leadership Plan (the Plan) on August 19, 2016. The Plan, which updates the province’s 2008 Climate Action Plan, contains 21 new actions to reduce emissions across the following sectors: (i) natural gas, (ii) transportation, (iii) forestry and agriculture, (iv) communities and built environment, and (v) public sector. The Plan follows the release of the Climate Leadership Team’s report in November 2015. The CLT, which was appointed by the BC government in May 2015 to provide advice for the development of the Plan, made 32 recommendations including, among others, the establishment of … Continue Reading
During the North American Leaders Summit held in Ottawa on June 29, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, United States (US) President Barack Obama, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, which reflects the leaders’ shared vision for a clean energy economy. The Partnership is supported by an action plan (the Action Plan) that details the activities to be pursued by the three countries in order to achieve a “competitive, low-carbon and sustainable North American economy”.… Continue Reading
On May 24, 2016, Alberta’s provincial government tabled Bill 20 for first reading in the legislature. Otherwise known as the Climate Leadership Implementation Act (Climate Act), Bill 20 furthers the implementation of the provincial government’s Climate Leadership Plan released in November 2015.
Bill 20 provides for a carbon levy on consumers of fuel, and creates an agency called Energy Efficiency Alberta, as part of the provincial government’s ongoing commitment to climate change policies and initiatives. Notably absent from Bill 20 are any details on initiatives or incentives for transitioning to renewable energy sources.
More information on this development … Continue Reading
The Ontario government’s proposed creation of an agency with a mandate to reduce carbon emissions by buying offsets, funding cleaner factories and buildings, and co-ordinating rooftop solar and energy conservation has been met with skepticism, particularly in light of the province’s experience with energy agencies. However, there is also reason for optimism. Read the whole article here.… Continue Reading
As noted in an earlier post, on March 3, 2016, the government announced that the Alberta Electric Systems Operator (AESO) has been chosen under the province’s Climate Leadership Plan to develop and implement a renewable electricity incentive program (Renewable Electricity Program or REP) to add additional renewable generation capacity into Alberta’s electricity system.
The expected timeline of this process is as follows:
|Phase 1 of stakeholder engagement process closed on March 24, 2016.|
|Provincial government has requested AESO’s draft recommendations on program design.|
|First competition for new REP|
As recently reported on our Canadian ERA Perspectives blog, the Paris Agreement was opened for signature on April 22, 2016 at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York. The Paris Agreement, which was adopted by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on December 12, 2015, will remain open for signature until April 21, 2017.… Continue Reading
On March 16, 2016, the Government of Alberta finally named the coal facilitator, and announced the next steps for its plan to phase-out coal by 2030. The province appointed Terry Boston to act as the province’s independent coal phase-out facilitator, and released details of Boston’s mandate and next steps.
Boston’s Prior Experience
Boston is the recently retired CEO of PJM Interconnection (PJM), which is a regional transmission organization in the United States. PJM controls approximately 105,502 km of transmission lines and manages 186,000 MW of generation serving 61 million people.… Continue Reading
On March 3, 2016, the Government of Alberta took its first step in implementing the Climate Leadership Plan by officially announcing that the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has been chosen to develop and implement a renewable electricity incentive program for the procurement of renewable generation capacity by 2030 (Renewable Electricity Program). In delivering this mandate, the Province confirmed:
- The Renewable Electricity Program will be implemented through a competitive process to keep costs as low as possible;
- The process is to be carefully managed and will operate in concert with the retirement of coal generating units; and
As part of our continuing series of blog posts highlighting specific topics addressed in our publication Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016, we focus here on our analysis of developments and anticipated trends in Environmental Law across the country that will impact the power sector.
The National Power Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP recently released Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016. This publication provides an unprecedented overview of the most significant developments in the Canadian power industry and to highlight key trends to watch for. In … Continue Reading
The National Power Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP is pleased to introduce Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016. This publication provides an unprecedented overview of the most significant developments in the Canadian power industry and highlights key trends to watch for. In addition to providing a detailed review of developments in each region, we look at developments in key areas of national scope, including project finance, environmental, regulatory and aboriginal law matters.
A full pdf version of Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 / Trends to Watch for in 2016 can be accessed … Continue Reading
Taking a step towards the establishment of a continental energy strategy, energy ministers from Canada, Mexico and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Climate Change and Energy Collaboration on February 12, 2016 during the North American Energy Ministers Meeting in Winnipeg. In addition, they launched a web platform where North American energy information can be easily accessed in one place (an initiative that was originally announced in December 2014).
Under the MOU signed by Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the three … Continue Reading
As we begin this new year, we note that several provinces have recently announced and updated their energy plans, which signal important trends in the energy industry. Below are some of the highlights from such provinces.… Continue Reading
As we reported in our earlier blog last fall, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) proposed certain amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulation (O. Reg. 452/09) (the Regulation) in preparation for the introduction of a cap-and-trade system in the province. In December 2015, the MOECC filed amendments to the Regulation that came into force on January 1, 2016. An amended Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting was published at the same time.… Continue Reading
BC’s Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (the Act) came into force on January 1, 2016. The Act was originally passed by the BC legislature in November 2014 and enables performance standards to be established for industrial facilities or sectors. The Act currently sets a greenhouse (GHG) emissions benchmark for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, along with an emissions benchmark for coal-based electricity generation operations. Performance standards for other industrial facilities and sectors will likely be added later on. The Act also streamlines several aspects of existing GHG legislation into a single legislative and regulatory system, including the GHG … Continue Reading
The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet. It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.
– United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (December 12, 2015)
On December 12, 2015, after two weeks of marathon negotiations at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21), 195 member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – including Canada, the United States, and a number of powerful developing countries including China and India – adopted the Paris Agreement (the … Continue Reading
As we recently reported, British Columbia’s (BC) Climate Leadership Team prepared a report setting out 32 recommendations for BC’s climate policy path forward. Recommendation 29 states that: If the majority of Canadian provinces opt for carbon pricing via emissions trading to cover greenhouse gases from large final emitters, a review should be undertaken of mechanisms to integrate a carbon tax with a cap and trade framework for the BC context.
Setting the Stage
This week, all eyes are on Paris as world leaders converged on the French capital in a multi-national effort to forge a new global climate change agreement. As negotiators now turn their focus on transforming the climate rhetoric into legal text, climate change is back in the global spotlight. Over the years, climate change policy has experienced its ebbs and flows. Climate change arrived on the international stage at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where 154 countries signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions … Continue Reading