Clean Electricity Regulation


Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the “Minister”), in collaboration with the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, has announced the release of proposed Clean Electricity Regulations (the “Proposed Regulations”) (see our earlier bulletin on prior consultations here). The Proposed Regulations would establish significant and ambitious emission performance standards (“EPS”) to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from fossil fuel-generated electricity generation facilities in all provinces and territories across Canada starting in 2035. Environment and Climate Change Canada (“ECCC”) estimates that the Proposed Regulations would result in a net reduction of 342 million metric tonnes (Mt) of CO2e emissions between 2024 and 2050 and a net benefit to society of $28.9B. The Proposed Regulations also impose significant registration, record keeping, and reporting obligations on covered electricity generation facilities. The Proposed Regulations represent a significant foray by the federal government into electricity policy, which has traditionally been an area of provincial jurisdiction. In their current form, the Proposed Regulations are expected to attract opposition from some provincial governments, and potential constitutional legal challenges. ECCC is seeking feedback on the Proposed Regulations. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to review the Proposed Regulations and submit detailed comments by no later than November 2, 2023.  We anticipate that policy developments are being targeted for announcement before or at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties meetings (COP28 Paris Agreement negotiations) that start on November 30, 2023, in Dubai, UAE. This bulletin briefly summarizes key details of the Proposed Regulation: Application. The Proposed Regulations would apply to any “unit” (defined as an assembly comprised of any equipment that is physically connected and that operates together to generate electricity, and (a) must include at least a boiler or combustion engine and (b) may include duct burners and other combustion devices, heat recovery systems, steam turbines, generators, emission control devices and carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) systems) that meets the three following criteria:…