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DT Vollmer

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The Minister of Natural Resources (the Minister) yesterday announced the launching of a public engagement process for the proposed Canada Green Buildings Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy will aim to mobilize national action to reduce emissions by 37 percent from 2005 by 2030 and create a net-zero-emissions buildings sector by 2050. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has also published a companion discussion paper outlining the scope and key themes of the proposed Strategy (the Discussion Paper). This bulletin briefly summarizes the Discussion Paper and provides important details regarding the public engagement process.   The Minister’s announcement noted that the Strategy will focus on (i) increasing the rate of building retrofits, (ii) ensuring buildings are resilient and net-zero-ready from the start, and (iii) transforming space and water heating. In addition, the Strategy will be backed by a $150 million commitment made in Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan (read our earlier bulletin here).   The Discussion Paper provides the following three potential outcomes for the Strategy to reach the net-zero target for Canada’s building sector: Build net-zero carbon and climate-resilient from the start. The Discussion Paper provides that Canada must ensure that new buildings achieve the highest levels of energy, carbon performance, and climate resiliency. To achieve this, all new buildings must (i) be net-zero carbon-ready no later than 2032 and (ii) conform to the latest applicable codes, standards, and guidelines for climate resilience no later than 2030. Increase the rate of deep, climate-resilient building retrofits. The Discussion Paper provides that the majority of buildings will still be in use in 30 years and that this will require retrofitting all existing buildings and taking advantage of joint opportunities for resiliency upgrades. The Strategy is likely to promote the deep retrofit rate reaching 3-5 percent of buildings annually by 2025, with applicable codes, standards, and guidelines for climate-resilient retrofits to be referenced in building…

The United States has just passed arguably its most significant and meaningful legislative instrument on climate change and clean energy. It is intended to have positive implications for climate and clean energy markets around the globe. On Sunday, August 8, 2022, the US Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the Act). The Act was then passed by the House of Representatives on Friday, August 12, 2022, and President Biden signed it into law today (Tuesday, August 16, 2022). The Act represents a central pillar of President Biden’s policy agenda and is extremely ambitious in scope, with significant implications for healthcare, taxes, and climate change. It authorizes approximately US$430 billion in spending, with approximately US$369 billion of that sum directed to clean energy and addressing climate change. This bulletin highlights the central climate and energy provisions of the Act. It is noteworthy that Senate Democrats estimate that the Act will raise US$739 billion in new revenue through measures such as increasing the IRS’s enforcement of tax evasion, and a new 15% minimum tax rate applicable to corporations with profits of $1 billion or more. These new revenues are intended to more than offset the expenses resulting from new programs, resulting in a projected reduction in the federal government’s deficit. The Senate was the critical hurdle for the Act, with approval remaining in doubt until its final passing by a vote of 51-50 (along strict party lines with Vice President Harris casting the 51st and tie-breaking vote).   Senate Democrats indicate that the climate change provisions of the Act will result in a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels when fully implemented. While this falls short of America’s updated Paris Target of a 50-52% reduction from 2005 GHG emissions by 2030, it constitutes meaningful progress toward that goal.    The climate and energy portions…

The UNFCCC Secretariat has released a concept note on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) activities under the Article 6.4 Mechanism (the Concept Note), published as an annex to the annotated agenda of the first meeting of the Article 6.4 Supervisory Body (SB) taking place beginning today in Bonn, Germany. This bulletin provides a brief summary of the Concept Note. Alongside the Concept Note, the UNFCCC Secretariat also released draft rules of procedure for the SB and concept notes on SB work in 2022-2023, its support structure, share of proceeds, and guidelines on baselines and additionality. Overview. The Concept Note is the first step in the SB’s work to develop recommendations for CDR and includes analysis of possible CDR activities under the Article 6.4 Mechanism, including CDR monitoring, reporting, accounting, crediting periods and issues relating to addressing reversals, avoidance of leakage, and avoidance of other negative environmental and social impacts. We anticipate that CDR will be given particular attention at COP 27 set to take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt this November and note that the SB is due to make recommendations on CDR in advance of the COP. Key issues and analysis. The Concept Note provides analysis on the following key issues: Types of CDR activities. The Concept Note defines CDR as “anthropogenic activities that remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and ensure its long-term storage in terrestrial, geological, or ocean reservoirs, or in long-lasting products” and acknowledges that CDR cannot serve as a substitute for deep emissions reductions, but can fulfil multiple complementary roles (including near-term reductions, addressing residual emissions from ‘hard-to-transition’ sectors, and achieving and sustaining net-negative in the long-term). The Concept Note breaks CDR out into the following categories: Afforestation and reforestation (A/R) and revegetation; Sustainable forest management;  Wetlands restoration and re-wetting;  Agroforestry; Urban forestry; Soil organic carbon enhancement in croplands…

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…