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Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2016/Trends to Watch for in 2017

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Climate Change, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Regulation

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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

Compliance with Flexibility: Ontario Releases Regulatory Proposal for Offset Credits under Cap-and-Trade Program

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
Ontario

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

Paving the Route to 2050: Canada Releases Mid-Century Strategy for a Clean Growth Economy

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

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

Alberta Power Market Update

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
Alberta

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,
  • implementing
Continue Reading

Taking the Bull by the Horns: Federal Government Introduces Pan-Canadian Carbon Price and Ratifies Paris Agreement; Paris Agreement to Come into Force in November 2016

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading

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

Target 2050: BC Releases Updated Climate Change Action Plan

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

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

Ontario Energy Agency Could Correct Province’s Past Policy Mistakes

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Ontario Ministry of Environment
Ontario

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

Sign of the Times: 177 Nations (and counting) Ink the Paris Climate Agreement while the World Bank and IMF Push for Carbon Pricing

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading

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

Phasing Out Coal: Alberta Names the Coal Facilitator

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Coal, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Conventional, Power
Alberta

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

Focus on Environmental Law, from Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015/Trends to Watch for in 2016

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation

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

Ontario’s Amended GHG Reporting Regulation Now in Force

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
Ontario

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 Updated GHG Reporting Regulation Now in Force

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

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

Historic, Durable and Ambitious? UNFCCC Member Nations Adopt the Paris Agreement

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading

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

Policy Considerations when Carbon Taxes Meet Cap-and-Trade

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
British Columbia

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.

According to the World Bank, approximately 40 national and 20 sub-national jurisdictions have put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) using carbon taxes or cap-and-trade … Continue Reading

Navigating the Paris Climate Talks: Understanding the Policy Drivers and Mastering the Climate Lingo

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading

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

Climate Leadership Team Makes 32 Recommendations for Updating BC’s Climate Change Policies

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

As reported in our earlier blog, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark appointed a Climate Leadership Team in May 2015 to provide advice and recommendations to government for its new Climate Leadership Plan.  The Climate Leadership Team’s mandate was based on four cornerstone objectives: (i) achieving BC’s legislated GHG emission reduction targets; (ii) maintaining a strong economy; (iii) mitigating negative impacts on vulnerable populations; and (iv) maintaining BC’s reputation for world-leading climate policies.

Following extensive stakeholder consultations throughout the summer, the Climate Leadership Team prepared a report that was released by the BC government on November 27, 2015, in … Continue Reading

A More Detailed Look: Proposed Options for Ontario’s Cap-and-Trade Program

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
Ontario

As noted in our earlier posting, the Ontario government announced in April 2015 that it would implement a cap and trade program that would eventually be linked with the existing cap and trade systems in Québec and California.  Following extensive public consultations over the summer, Ontario has released its Cap and Trade Program Design Options paper, which is open for public comment until December 16, 2015. As part of the current consultation process, the Ontario government is seeking input on various elements of the program design including timing, scope of the program, caps on greenhouse gas emissions, allowance distribution, … Continue Reading

On the heels of Cap & Trade Consultation Paper, Ontario releases Climate Change Strategy

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation
Ontario

Ontario’s climate change policy continues to evolve. In February 2015, Ontario released a Climate Change Discussion Paper to help frame the issues for public consultation and in April 2015, it was announced that Ontario would implement a cap and trade program that would link to the existing cap and trade systems in Québec and California.

On the heels of the release of its recent Cap and Trade Program Design Options consultation paper, the Ontario government introduced the province’s Climate Change Strategy on November 24, 2015. The strategy, which is what Ontario will present to the world at the international climate … Continue Reading

At Last: Alberta Unveils its New Climate Leadership Plan

Posted in Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Climate Policy, Coal, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Conventional, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Power
Alberta

On November 22, 2015, Alberta released its long-awaited Climate Leadership Plan (Climate Plan).  Contemporaneously with the Climate Plan, the Government released the Climate Change Advisory Panel’s (Climate Panel) Report to the Minister, Climate Leadership. As background, previous blogs on the Climate Panel’s mandate and the Climate Leadership Discussion Document can be found here and here.… Continue Reading

Ontario Introduces Cap & Trade System

Posted in Climate Change, Climate Policy, Emissions Regulation, Emissions Trading
Ontario

On April 13, 2015, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario would implement a cap and trade system aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province. Ontario has committed to imposing a hard cap on pollution for each sector of the economy.

A cap and trade system, in general, places a limit on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that may be produced in a specified time frame. As time progresses, this limit is reduced as per previously established guidelines. Businesses must hold enough emission allowances in order to equal their actual greenhouse gas emissions. If a business does not … Continue Reading

British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board Reduces Redundancy in Appeal Proceedings

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation
British Columbia

On December 4, 2014, the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board (the “Board”) issued reasons in a preliminary hearing relating to an appeal against Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.’s (“Rio Tinto”) amended multi-media permit (the “Permit”) for its Kitimat Modernization Project.… Continue Reading

British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board Reduces Redundancy in Appeal Proceedings

Posted in BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

On December 4, 2014, the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board (the “Board”) issued reasons in a preliminary hearing relating to an appeal against Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.’s (“Rio Tinto”) amended multi-media permit (the “Permit”) for its Kitimat Modernization Project.

A.   Background

The Permit authorizes Rio Tinto to discharge effluent, emissions, and waste from its aluminum smelter located in Kitimat, British Columbia. In April 2012, the Director, under authority of the Environmental Management Act (the “Act”), approved certain amendments to the Permit, which were sought by Rio Tinto in support of a project … Continue Reading

BC Sets New Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standard for LNG Industry

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions Regulation, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

On October 20, 2014, BC Environment Minister Mary Polak introduced legislation for the management of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the province’s burgeoning liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. With the objective of ensuring that BC has the cleanest LNG facilities in the world, Bill 2 (also known as the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act) seeks to establish a GHG emissions intensity benchmark of 0.16 carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) tonnes per tonne of LNG produced. A number of details of the new GHG regime for the LNG industry have yet to be determined in regulations, but the legislation … Continue Reading