Ontario to utilise performance standards, innovation fund to hit weakened climate goals
Ontario’s Progressive Conservative (PC) government on Thursday unveiled its new carbon tax-free climate strategy, which will see it use output-based performance standards (OBPS) for large emitters while incentivising additional GHG cuts through a fund to reach weakened 2030 reduction targets.
The 54-page ‘Made-in-Ontario’ proposal will “hold polluters accountable with stronger enforcement and tougher penalties” for those that exceed their emission limits, the government said in a press release.
But some observers noted that the province’s proposed plan does effectively contain a pricing aspect.
“The cost of the compliance options under the OBPS will essentially place a price on emissions that are emitted above a specified level,” said Toronto-based advisory firm ClearBlue Markets.
“If the Ontario plan is approved to replace the federal backstop, Ontario industries may then be subject to the Ontario OBPS,” they added.
“It is important to note that Saskatchewan’s OBPS was approved by the federal government and the federal backstop is implemented in part (Carbon Levy + Federal OBPS on electricity generation and natural gas transmission). This could be a scenario for Ontario.”
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