On December 1, 2009, Ontario’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulation (O. Reg. 452/09) (the “Regulation”) came into force. Under the Regulation, industrial facilities in Ontario that release 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (“CO2e”) will be required to report their emissions data to the government of Ontario on an annual basis. The government of Ontario estimates that between 200-300 facilities will be subject to the Regulation’s reporting requirements, including facilities that generate greenhouse gases from the following sources: aluminum production, cement manufacturing, copper production, electricity generation, iron/steel manufacturing, lead production, petroleum refining, pulp and paper manufacturing and zinc production.

The first annual reporting period under the Regulation will begin on January 1, 2010, with the emissions report for the 2010 period due on or before June 1, 2011. The Regulation specifies the contents of the emissions report and along with an accompanying guideline, provides rules for quantifying CO2e emissions. Third party verification of emissions reports according to ISO requirements will be phased-in for the 2011 reporting period and will continue thereafter. Although not subject to the Regulation, smaller emitters (e.g. facilities emitting between 10,000 and 25,000 tonnes of CO2e) will be encouraged to report their emissions under the Regulation on a voluntary basis under an outreach program to be developed by the Ministry of the Environment.

The purpose of the Regulation is to facilitate the development of a cap-and-trade system in Ontario, with linkages to other jurisdictions in North America. To that end, the Government of Ontario has pledged to continue to work with the federal government, other provincial governments, and its Western Climate Initiative partners to harmonize greenhouse gas reporting requirements and methods.