As we noted in an April, 2015 post, Ontario is introducing a cap-and-trade system aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province. The government has moved one-step closer in this process, releasing a discussion paper titled Cap-and-Trade Program Design Options on November 16, 2015.  The paper outlines and seeks comments on various aspects of a proposed system, including:

  • Proposed scope of the program, including which sectors should be covered and when they should be phased-in;
  • How new and expanding facilities should be treated;
  • How caps should be set and how allowances should be distributed; and,
  • Market design features, including registration requirements, auction rules, and trade rules;

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is accepting comments on the discussion paper until December 16, 2015. Comments received will be considered in the decision-making process for a draft regulation, expected to be released in early 2016. The government is currently proposing to have the cap-and-trade program begin on January 1, 2017, however comments on the timing can also be submitted.