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DT Vollmer

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Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change has announced the publication of the final Clean Fuel Regulations (CFR) to replace the federal Renewable Fuels Regulation (RFR). The final CFR was approved by Cabinet on June 20, which will now also be the date that early crediting commences. The official version of the CFR will be published in Canada Gazette Part II on July 6. The federal government intends for the CFR to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 26.6 million tCO2e by 2030. An unofficial version of the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement has also been released. This bulletin briefly highlights key details and recent changes to the CFR, which repeal and replace the RFR while retaining the minimum volumetric requirements of at least 5% low CI fuel content in gasoline and 2% low CI fuel content in diesel fuel and light fuel oil. Compliance requirements. The CFR will require gasoline and diesel primary suppliers (producers and importers) to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of the gasoline and diesel they produce in, and import into, Canada from 2016 CI levels by 3.5 gCO2e/MJ in 2023, increasing at a rate of 1.5 gCO2e/MJ to 14 gCO2e/MJ in 2030 (up from 12 gCO2e/MJ in prior iterations). The annual CI reduction requirements that primary suppliers must meet for the gasoline and diesel fuels they supply to Canada is the difference between a baseline CI value and a CI limit for gasoline and diesel. Compliance requirements under the CFR will come into effect on July 1, 2023, with the first compliance review in December 2023.  Credit market. The CFR will also establish a credit market providing for three main categories of credit-creating action: Actions that reduce the CI of the fossil fuel throughout its lifecycle through GHG reduction projects (e.g., carbon capture and storage); Supplying low-carbon…

Ontario Premier Doug Ford today announced members of his new Cabinet. The new Executive Council has increased by three to 30 members and includes seven women, down from nine, and seven people of colour. The new Executive Council largely resembles Premier Ford’s Cabinet prior to the recent election on June 2, with a few notable exceptions, including the now former Minister of Health, Christine Elliot, who did not seek re-election, and Lisa MacLeod, the now former Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism. The ministers responsible for environment and energy portfolios remain the same. The new Executive Council is as follows: Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and new Minister of Health Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care, Minister of Legislative Affairs and Government House Leader Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Doug Downey, Attorney General Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, with an additional mandate for small business Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Parm Gill, the new Minister of Red Tape Reduction Michael Kerzner, the new Solicitor General Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education Neil Lumsden, the new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry George Pirie, Minister of Mines, with a mandate to develop the Ring of Fire Kaleed Rasheed, the new Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs Prabmeet…

The Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) last week launched a provisional Claims Code of Practice (the Claims CoP) to guide “credible, voluntary use of carbon credits and associated claims.” VCMI anticipates that the Claims CoP will: provide clear guidance to companies and other non-state actors on when they can credibly make voluntary use of carbon credits as part of their net zero commitments; and ensure the credibility of claims made by companies and other private non-state actors regarding this use of carbon credits. Broadly, the Claims CoP includes four steps: Meet the Prerequisites. Companies must make a public commitment to achieve science-aligned long-term net zero emissions no later than 2050 and meet other pre-requisites before making voluntary use of carbon credits (and making a VCMI claim). Identify Claim(s) to Make. Companies can make “enterprise-wide” claims (VCMI Gold (net zero), VCMI Silver, VCMI Bronze (only available until 2030)) or “brand-, product-, and service-level” claims. Purchase High-Quality Credits. All credits used as the basis for credible claims must be high quality and meet basic criteria (based on work of CORSIA and the IC-VCM). Report Transparently on the Use of Carbon Credits. Companies must report full information in publicly available annual corporate sustainability or similar reports to demonstrate that prerequisites and claim requirements have been met. Detailed information is available in the draft Claims CoP. Several companies are “road testing” the Claims CoP through Fall 2022. The VCMI is also collecting public feedback on the draft until August 12, 2022. For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has released a Request for Information seeking public comment on climate-related financial risk (the RFI). The CFTC notes that the RFI will inform its understanding and oversight of climate-related financial risk relevant to the derivatives markets, underlying commodities markets, registered entities, registrants, and other related market participants. This bulletin briefly summarizes the RFI. The RFI is seeking comments on questions posed by the CFTC around the following topic areas: data; scenario analysis and stress testing; risk management; disclosure; product innovation; voluntary carbon markets; digital assets; financially vulnerable communities; public-private partnership/engagement; and capacity and coordination. The CFTC indicated that it may use the responses and comments received through the RFI to inform potential future actions including the issuance of new or amended guidance, interpretations, policy statements, or regulations, or other potential action by the CFTC. All of the CFTC’s commissioners voted in favour of the RFI. However, Commissioner Mersinger, in a concurring statement included in the RFI, indicated that several of the questions in the RFI were beyond the jurisdiction of the CFTC. Commissioner Mersinger asserted that the CFTC does not regulate commodity markets and does not have statutory authority to create a registration framework for participants within voluntary carbon markets nor the authority to regulate digital assets or distributed ledger technology outside of activities related to derivatives. In addition, Commissioner Pham stated that the CFTC should seek to harmonize any climate risk management framework with existing prudential and other regulatory regimes for registrants already subject to such regimes. The RFI follows the CFTC’s first Voluntary Carbon Convening (the Convening) which discussed issues related to the supply and demand for high quality carbon offsets, including product standardization and the data necessary to support the integrity of carbon offsets’ greenhouse gas emission avoidance and claims.…

ClientEarth, an environmental advocacy organization active in climate litigation, together with Friends of the Earth and the Good Law Project, presented legal arguments before the UK High Court on June 8-9 in their challenge of the UK government’s net-zero by 2050 strategy. ClientEarth asserts that the UK government has not met its legal obligation under the Climate Change Act, which requires the government to set climate policies that satisfy the UK’s legally binding carbon budgets. ClientEarth argues that the UK is relying on unproven technologies instead of supporting opportunities for immediate impact, including recommendations for cutting emissions and reducing energy bills from the UK’s Climate Change Committee, such as increased insulation and low-carbon heating in buildings. ClientEarth notes that the UK’s current approach will require significant and drastic emissions reductions in the coming decades, with increased impacts on young people and future generations. Last month, ClientEarth, along with Dutch campaigners Fossielvrij Netherlands and Reclame Fossielvrij, delivered a letter to Dutch airline, KLM, stating their intention to file a legal claim if the demands set out in the letter are not met. The demands include calling for a ban on all fossil fuel advertising in the EU. ClientEarth intends for the ban to stop companies like KLM from misleading the public over what is needed to reduce emissions and the airline industry’s contribution to climate change. ClientEarth is targeting KLM’s ‘Fly Responsibly’ ad campaign and the airline’s offers for customers to purchase carbon offsets which will be used to fund reforestation projects or the purchase of biofuels to offset the emissions from their flight. ClientEarth states that such campaigns do little to reduce emissions and may instead undermine and delay urgent climate change action.