On May 27, 2009, Bill 185, the Environmental Protection Amendment Act (Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading), 2009 was posted on the Environmental Registry for consultation (010-6467), along with the discussion paper “Moving Forward: A Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade System for Ontario” (010-6740).
Comments related to the legislation through both postings included:
- Future cap-and-trade regulations should be consulted on
- Bill 185 should include a legal requirement for the consideration of the economic and social impacts of cap-and-trade regulations
- Bill 185 should include provisions for the verification of emissions as well as penalties related to non-compliance
- The government authority created by section 176.1 subsection 4 (b) be used to delegate power only to an arms-length government agency
- The legislation should be reviewed against principles such as preserving the competitiveness of Ontario industries, achieving GHG reductions at lowest cost, and ensuring no duplication of burden
- Ontario should harmonize and avoid multiple, inconsistent requirements with other cap-and-trade programs
- The definition of GHGs should be expanded to better align with U.S. policy and include anesthetic gases (isoflurane, sevoflurane, and desflurane), and adjust or adapt the related global warming potentials to reflect U.S. EPA and international standards
- The government should coordinate and prioritize regulatory initiatives
- A carbon tax would be preferred over cap-and-trade
- Cap-and-trade auction revenues should be used to support GHG reductions in the capped sectors and the research and development of low-carbon technologies. Other purposes identified include: support for consumers, particularly low-income households; workforce training and transitional support; tax reduction; use in uncapped sectors; and for broader social, environmental and economic purposes
In consideration of the comments received, the Ontario government introduced the following amendments to Bill185:
- Enable the definition of GHGs to be expanded beyond the 6 Kyoto gases to provide the flexibility to adapt to ongoing developments and evolving science
- Create a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account for auction revenues to support GHG reductions in capped sectors
- Require certain rules and requirements be followed so that the auctioning of allowances is administered properly and fairly
The Amended Bill was passed as the Environmental Protection Amendment Act (Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading), 2009 in December 2009.
Ongoing consideration will be given to comments received in the development of future cap-and-trade regulations, and the Ministry will ensure opportunities for ongoing stakeholder and public comment as the province moves forward to develop a cap-and-trade system in Ontario that can link to other systems.
For more information on cap-and-trade, and what Ontario is doing, please visit the Ministry of the Environment’s cap-and-trade website.