To help mitigate climate change – one of the most urgent issues of our time – Ontario is implementing a greenhouse gas cap and trade program. A cap and trade program effectively reduces the amount of greenhouse gas pollution going into our atmosphere by setting a limit on emissions, rewarding innovative companies, providing certainty for industries, and creating more opportunities for investment.
Offset credits will increase the compliance options for facilities covered by the cap and trade program while extending the environmental benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation beyond the capped sectors. An amendment to the Cap and Trade Program Regulation (O.Reg. 144/16) to include offsets provisions will be developed to allow for high quality offset credits with integrity, transparency and financial value within Ontario’s cap and trade program.
On November 16, 2015 the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change posted a policy paper to the Environmental Registry (012-5666) for 30 days to gather comments on the design options under consideration for Ontario’s greenhouse gas cap and trade program. A link to a summary of the comments can be found in the Other Information section below. In addition, since May 2015, Ontario has met with over 700 stakeholders on cap and trade, including industries, associations, environmental organizations, and labour groups. Offsets have been an integral part of those discussions.
The Ministry is now posting a regulatory proposal that provides an overview of the criteria, process and administrative requirements for the registration of offset initiatives and the creation and issuance of offset credits that can be used to meet a compliance obligation.
Offset Regulatory Proposal
The offsets regulatory proposal outlines the policy for a number of program elements, including:
- Offsets Initiative Registry
- Start Dates
- Crediting Periods
- Reporting Requirements
- Verification Requirements
- Offset Credit Creation Criteria
- Buffer Account
- Offset Credit Issuance
- Project Reversals