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The United States and China announced renewed commitment to enhance cooperation to address the climate crisis in the Sunnylands Statement released on November 14, 2023 (the Statement). Both countries indicated their commitment to the effective implementation of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, including the Glasgow Climate Pact and the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan, and to further the effective and sustained implementation of the U.S.-China Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis and the U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s. This bulletin provides key details of the new and renewed commitments in the Statement. COP 28. The countries indicated that the consensus Global Stocktake decision expected to come out of COP 28 should, among other things: reflect that substantially more ambition and implementation on action and support will be needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals; send signals with respect to the energy transition (renewable energy, coal/oil/gas), carbon sinks including forests, non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs) including methane, and low-carbon technologies; encourage economy-wide 2035 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) covering all GHGs; note the expectation of developed countries that the $100B climate finance goal will be met in 2023; welcome the recommendations of the Transitional Committee with respect to establishing funding arrangements to address loss and damage, including the establishment of a fund; and emphasize the important role of international cooperation. 2035 NDCs. The U.S. and China both affirmed that their 2035 NDCs under the Paris Agreement will be economy-wide, include all GHGs, and reflect emission reductions aligned with the Paris Agreement temperature goals. Energy Transition. The Statement provides important commitments related to the energy transition, including: support for the G20 Leaders Declaration to pursue efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 and sufficiently accelerate renewable energy deployment through 2030 from 2020 levels to accelerate the…

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy (the Ministry) recently proposed amendments to regulations under the Electricity Act, 1998 (the Act). The proposed amendments would amend Ontario Regulation 429/04: Adjustments Under Section 25.33 of the Act (the Regulation) to enable qualifying commercial and industrial customers to offset their facility’s demand through power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable generation facilities. The Regulation otherwise provides for the allocation of Global Adjustment (GA) costs to electricity customers and the rules for the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI). The proposed amendments follow other recent provincial support for meeting increasing corporate demand for clean and non-emitting sources of energy (see our bulletin on Ontario’s clean energy credit registry here) and the government anticipates that it will create a new market for corporate PPAs, provide system benefits, enhance industrial competitiveness in Ontario, and support new clean generation. This bulletin briefly summarizes key information regarding the proposed amendments. Overview The Ministry indicated that the proposed amendments are intended to support the growth of clean electricity generation by enabling qualifying ICI participants (Class A customers) to offset their facility’s demand in the top five peak hours of a base period through PPAs with renewable generation facilities that are not connected behind the facility’s meter. This would allow eligible ICI participants to reduce their demand during peak hours by the corresponding amount under the PPA, thereby reducing the GA charges under the ICI. The Ministry noted that contracted generation through PPAs would be treated as if it is supplied to the ICI participant behind-the-meter for the purpose of determining GA charges, similar to other “virtual” net metering arrangements. Eligible Technology The types of technologies eligible under the proposed amendments is expected to include wind, solar, small hydroelectric (i.e., less than 10 megawatts), biofuel, and battery storage. Next steps The proposed effective date for the amendments is May 1, 2024. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to review…

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) today released a discussion paper, “A Clean Electricity Standard in support of a net-zero electricity sector” (the Discussion Paper), as part of its first steps in developing and consulting on a Clean Electricity Standard (CES) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. This bulletin summarizes key details of the Discussion Paper and provides important information on ECCC’s consultation on developing a CES.   Purpose. The Discussion Paper indicates that its purpose is to support the government’s intention to introduce regulations to achieve a net-zero electricity system by 2035 and invite comments regarding the scope and design of the CES. The Discussion Paper notes that Canada’s electricity system is currently 82% non-emitting but remains Canada’s 4th largest source of emissions, accounting for 8.4% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2019.   Proposed CES Regulations. The Discussion Paper notes that carbon pricing will be insufficient to ensure that the electricity sector achieves net-zero emissions by 2035 or likely even by 2050. Therefore, a nation-wide CES regulation will complement carbon pricing by requiring the phase-out of all conventional fossil fuel electricity generation and incentivizing fuel switching in other sectors. The scope and design of the CES regulations will also need to provide enough compliance flexibility to allow for the use of natural gas for emergency events, back-up power to complement renewables, and supplying power during seasonal peaks of demand. The proposed CES regulations may, among other things: apply to all sources of emitting electricity generation that sell to the grid; transition the electricity sector to net-zero by 2035 while providing increased supply of electricity to support electrification and the role of available technologies in the provision of clean power to Canadians; be stringent enough to achieve its objectives while including compliance flexibility, such as robust GHG offsets, and allow for the…