Appendix A: Recent Climate Policy Developments

Table A.1 describes many recent climate policy developments and whether that policy is included in the analysis of EF2018. The following criteria were applied to determine whether a certain policy was included in the report:

  • The policy was publically announced prior to 1 August 2018.
  • Sufficient details exist to model the policy.
  • Goals and targets, including Canada’s international climate targets, are not explicitly modelled. Rather, policies that are announced, and in place, to address those targets are included in the modelling and analysis.

This Table is for background purposes and not intended to be an exhaustive list of all Canadian climate policy initiatives. For a detailed list of current policy initiatives, see Canada’s 7th National Communication and 3rd Biennial Report, National Communication Table 1: Summary of Policies and Measures by Sector.

Table A.1 – Recent Major Climate Policy Announcements

Table A.1 – Recent Major Climate Policy Announcements
Description Details EF2018
Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change In December 2016, Canada’s First Ministers released the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (Pan-Canadian Framework), which outlined the actions that will contribute to meeting or exceeding Canada’s 2030 climate change target of a 30% reduction below 2005 GHG emission levels. Pillars of the Pan-Canadian Framework include: 1) pricing carbon pollution, 2) complementary actions to reduce emissions, 3) adaptation and climate resilience, 4) and clean technology, innovation, and jobs. The framework describes many new actions associated with the four pillars. Several core elements of the Pan-Canadian Framework are included in EF2018, as described in the following sections.
Emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles (for post-2018 and beyond model years) In July 2018, the federal government published final regulations on Amending the Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine GHG Regulations. The regulations (Phase II) will introduce stronger standards for new vehicles and engines in model year 2021, and they will increase in stringency up to model year 2027. These standards improve a truck’s overall fuel efficiency and reduce GHGs. The new regulations follow the 2014-2018 (Phase I) standard. Post-2018 model year emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles are included in EF2018.
Reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector In April 2018, ECCC published federal methane regulations. The regulations will apply to oil and gas facilities responsible for the extraction, production and processing, and transportation of crude oil and natural gas, including pipelines. The first federal requirements come into force in 2020, with the rest of the requirements coming into force in 2023. Regulation of methane emissions is included in EF2018.
Pan-Canadian Approach to Pricing Carbon Pollution The federal government outlined its proposed approach to carbon pricing in Canada in October 2016. Jurisdictions have the flexibility to implement: 1) an explicit price-based system (a carbon tax like British Columbia’s or a carbon levy and performance-based emissions system like in Alberta), or 2) a cap-and-trade system (e.g. Ontario and Quebec). Revenues from carbon pricing remain in the jurisdiction of origin. In May 2017, the federal government released a technical paper on the implementation of a federal carbon pricing backstop. It provides details on how carbon will be priced in jurisdictions that do not have a carbon pricing system in place.  This initiative is included in EF2018. Carbon pricing assumptions are outlined in Chapter 2.
Federal phase-out of traditional coal-fired generation by 2030 In November 2016, the federal government announced it is amending the regulations applicable to coal-fired electricity generation to ensure that all traditional coal-fired units are phased out by no later than 2030. Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have coal-fired power plants that would be impacted by these regulations. Prior to this announcement, Alberta had already committed to phasing out pollution from coal-fired plants by 2030. The phase-out of coal-fired generation is included in EF2018. Equivalency agreements with Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia were announced and are discussed later in this table.
Federal clean fuel standard The federal government announced a plan in November 2016 to work with provinces, territories, and stakeholders to develop a clean fuel standard. A clean fuel standard requires the lifecycle carbon footprint of fuels supplied to decline over time. A regulatory framework for the standard was published December 2017. Currently, proposed regulations for liquid fuels are to be published in spring 2019, final regulations in 2020, and requirements coming into force by 2022. Proposed regulations for gaseous and solid fuels are scheduled for fall 2020, final regulations in 2021 and requirements coming into force by 2023. The clean fuel standard was under development at the time of analysis and is not included in EF2018.
Provincial and Territorial Carbon Pricing Initiatives Many provinces and territories have developed their own approaches as part of the Pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution. Examples of developments in 2018 include: High-level carbon pricing assumptions are outlined in Chapter 2. EF2018 assumes that the federal backstop applies to all provinces and territories that do not meet the benchmark in the Pan-Canadian approach. Province and Territory-specific exemptions and allocation systems are included.
Provincial and Territorial Renewable Electricity Initiatives Various provincial and territorial initiatives to increase the amount of renewable electricity are in place. Recent examples include Alberta’s  Renewable Electricity Plan, which held its first round in 2017, and Saskatchewan’s current request for proposal for wind and solar developments. EF2018 electricity capacity expansion outlooks generally align to province and territory utility, government, and system operator expansion plans and expectations in the near-to-medium term. They include various renewable electricity initiatives that are sufficiently defined.
Provincial and Territorial Energy and Climate Strategies Provincial and territorial governments have climate plans and strategies that guide policies related to energy and emission issues. Recent examples include: EF2018 includes elements of these plans when there is enough information available to include in the modeling. Examples of included province-specific policies include Alberta’s 100 MT limit on oil sands GHG emissions, and Quebec’s zero-emission vehicle standard.
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