GHG emissions


The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (the Ministry) has posted a bulletin (the Bulletin) providing principles to guide policy development and future consultations for Ontario’s Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) program to meet the updated federal benchmark for 2023-2030 (read our earlier bulletins on the EPS here and here). The Ministry also released new modelling demonstrating how Ontario is forecasted to meet its GHG  emission reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels. This bulletin briefly summarizes key information in the Bulletin and the emissions scenario modelling. Proposed Principles. The Bulletin notes that the federal government, in its Update to the Pan-Canadian Approach to Carbon Pollution Pricing 2023-2030, set out new and more stringent benchmark requirements ($65/tCO2e in 2023, rising $15/year to $170 in 2030) that all carbon pricing systems, including the EPS program, must meet under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. To meet the more stringent benchmark, the Ministry is proposing to design the next phase of the EPS program using the following guiding principles: provide continuity and predictability for Ontario businesses; incent GHG emissions reductions, which will help Ontario to meet its target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030; minimize the risk for carbon leakage (the risk of production leaving the province for other jurisdictions with less stringent climate policies), taking into account competitiveness impacts to Ontario industry; ensure the program continues to be fair, cost-effective, and flexible to the needs and circumstances of Ontario; and minimize regulatory burden. Emissions Reduction Modelling. New modelling released as part of the Bulletin provides updated forecasting of provincial emissions out to 2030. The modelling shows that Ontario’s emissions are forecasted to be 143.7 MT CO2e in 2030, slightly lower than Ontario’s 144 MT target for 2030. The Ministry notes, and as shown in the graph…

A federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has cancelled oil and gas leases of 80.8 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, citing inadequate environmental assessments of the impact of GHG emissions on climate change. The judge determined that the Interior Department “acted arbitrarily and capriciously in excluding foreign consumption from their [GHG] emissions calculations” contrary to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  Environmental groups claimed the NEPA analysis performed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was irrational and inconsistent with available data in determining that the GHG emissions associated with the lease sale would be lower and not contribute to climate change compared to a no-action scenario. The Interior Department must now conduct new analysis taking into account GHG emissions resulting from the development and production of the leases, including the associated emissions from foreign consumption. The Interior Department must then consider the new analysis in determining whether to hold a new auction for the cancelled leases.  President Biden, during his campaign for office, had stated that there would be no new drilling for oil and gas on federal lands and signed an Executive Order to that effect early last year. However, Attorneys General from 13 states successfully sued to have previously planned auctions from the Trump Administration go forward, with major oil companies including Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobile bidding $192M for the now cancelled drilling rights.  For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.