Implementation of Ontario emissions performance standard still mired in uncertainty
Concerns that Ontario’s proposed emissions reduction system for large emitters could be weaker than Ottawa’s ‘backstop’ programme may not matter if the provincial government won’t commit to the policy in the long-term amid legal and political uncertainty, stakeholders said at a webinar on Friday.
The possible implementation of a different carbon pricing system in Ontario has frustrated participants that only eight months ago witnessed Progressive Conservative party Premier Doug Ford abruptly scrap the province’s WCI-linked ETS upon taking office, leading to significant financial losses and cancelled contracts for companies.
“From the industry’s point of view, people are getting tired,” said Michael Berends, the managing director of origination for Toronto-based consultancy ClearBlue Markets, during a webinar hosted by environmental organisation Clean Economy Alliance.
The elimination of the Ontario cap-and-trade programme led Ottawa to impose the federal C$20 carbon levy and output-based pricing system (OBPS) for large emitters in the province from Apr. 1, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2019 respectively. In response, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP) posted draft regulations for an Industrial Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) in February, aiming to replace the federal OBPS with its own system.