Update on the Proposed Cap and Trade Program in Ontario and Ontario's Climate Change Strategy

On November 24th, 2015, Premier Wynne and the Hon. Glen Murray, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the provincial government's Climate Change Strategy.

This announcement follows the April 2015 announcement that the government of Ontario would be limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by implementing a cap and trade program. Also at that time, it indicated its intent to join the joint cap and trade program implemented by Quebec and California.

The cap and trade program is a key initiative for the government to tackle climate change and meet the goals set out in the Climate Change Strategy by reducing greenhouse gases. The program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting a limit (i.e., cap) from the captured facilities (equal to or greater than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). Over time, the cap is lowered, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Provision Coalition has been engaged in initial consultations with the Provincial Government. During the week of November 9th, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) held another round of multi-sector stakeholder sessions regarding the progress of the design of Ontario's cap and trade program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The consultations surrounded the preferred approach for a number of key design topics for the cap and trade program and a request for further feedback from stakeholders.

A response on behalf of our members is being prepared and submitted through the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), mainly focusing on the indirect impacts to our sector. Manufacturers are also encouraged to submit their feedback through the EBR posting. The deadline to submit feedback to MOECC is December 16, 2015.

The feedback from this round of consults will be compiled and presented back to stakeholders in early 2016, followed by the release of the draft regulatory proposal for the cap and trade program. There will be opportunity to provide feedback again at this time as well. 

MOECC anticipates the release of the draft regulation, followed by the final regulation in mid-2016. MOECC would like to start the program in January 2017, with the first trade auction-taking place in March 2017. Provision Coalition will continue to monitor the developments as more information on the program becomes available. 

For more information contact Meena Hassanali at mhassanali@provisioncoalition.com

Latest on Waste Diversion in Ontario

On November 26, 2015, the Ontario Government introduced the proposed Waste-Free Ontario Act (Bill 151) and released a draft Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy. The proposed Act and draft Strategy would form the new Waste-Free Ontario Framework that is intended to support a circular economy, which would increase resource recovery and waste reduction in Ontario.

The Ministry will be hosting an information session for our sector on December 2, 2015 to provide a technical briefing on the proposed legislation and draft Strategy, and provide an early opportunity to prepare feedback in advance of formal consultations over the next few months. Stay tuned for updates as Provision strives to provide more clarity on this important legislation.

The proposed Waste-Free Ontario Act includes:

1) Proposed Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act that would:
a) Establish the provincial interest in resource recovery and waste reduction and enable the government to issue policy statements to provide further direction on the provincial interest;
b) Establish an outcomes-based regime that holds producers accountable for recovering resources and reducing waste associated with their products and packaging;
c) Empower a non-crown and not-for-profit oversight body to oversee the producer responsibility regime and to collect and manage data and information; and
d) Require the development of the draft Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy, which will outline Ontario’s goals for resource recovery and waste reduction and actions to support the goals and performance measures to measure the progress towards the goals.

2) Proposed Waste Diversion Transition Act to replace the Waste Diversion Act, 2002, which would help ensure the smooth transition of the existing waste diversion programs to the new producer responsibility regime.

The draft Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy would act as a roadmap to help Ontario reach the goals of zero waste in the province and zero GHG emissions from the waste sector.

As next steps, Provision will be working with our Advocacy team to review the publications in more detail to understand potential impacts to our sector. We will continue to attend consultations during the 90-day comment period, and seek industry input and feedback to develop and revise key messages to respond and comment on this proposal.

For more information contact Meena Hassanali, Industry Program Manager, Provision Coalition at: mhassanali@provisioncoalition.com