On Friday, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) shared the principles it intends to follow as it works to align the Ontario Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) with the updated federal benchmark for the period of 2023 to 2030. The MECP also posted updated modelling information that demonstrates how the province intends to achieve its 2030 emissions reduction target – 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The EPS program covers and regulates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large industrial facilities in Ontario. This program, which came into full effect January 1, 2022, sets the standards for emissions limits that those facilities are required to meet.
The EPS program is supported by Ontario’s GHG emissions reporting program, which provides verified emissions, production, and emissions limit data for all registrants in the EPS program. These are needed to determine a facility’s compliance obligation under the EPS program.
Under the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA), the federal government assesses provincial and territorial carbon pricing programs against a benchmark. On August 5, 2021, the Government of Canada published its Update to the Pan-Canadian Approach to Carbon Pollution Pricing 2023-2030 which sets out new, more stringent benchmark requirements that provincial and territorial programs will need to meet.
While the MECP states the proposed regulatory approach for the 2023-2030 period will not be made available until the summer of 2022 for consultation, it has provided the following principles it intends to use as it develops its approach that will meet the federal benchmark:
The MECP also states it will begin collecting data over the spring/summer of 2022 to support development of potential new performance standards for the 2023-2030 period for:
In addition, MECP shared its most recent modelling information that illustrates how Ontario will meet its 2030 target, referring to initiatives that have been committed to across government. Emissions are estimated to be 143.7 Mt CO2e in 2030, with a 2030 target of 144.0 Mt CO2e, or 30 percent below 2005 levels per the 2021 National Inventory Report.The five key areas that will drive the necessary emission reductions are the following:
While there is no formal comment period associated with this post from the MECP it did include two questions to stakeholders. Interested parties can share their feedback:
The Sussex team will continue to closely track the development of the 2023-2030 EPS regulatory and policy approach. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Robyn Gray, Principal and Environment Practice Lead
Christina Marciano, Vice President, Environment