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Alberta Legislates Greenhouse Gas Reductions for Large Industry
Posted in Environmental

On April 17, 2007 the Alberta Legislature passed legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emission intensity from large industry.  The Climate Change and Emissions Management Amendment Act and accompanying Specified Gas Emitters Regulation provide that, starting 1 July 2007, companies that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year must reduce their emissions intensity by 12 per cent.

The legislation, a portion of which came into force on April 20, 2007, outlines the options for meeting the target and details how companies can reduce emissions intensity, among other things. Compliance options include making operating improvements or purchasing Alberta-based offsets to apply against emissions totals.

Where reducing emissions intensity by 12 per cent is not initially possible, large emitters will be required to contribute to a new government fund that will invest in technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Spending from the technology fund will occur in the province, to support research into innovative climate change solutions and to develop infrastructure to reduce emissions. Effective July 1, for every tonne above the 12 per cent target, large emitters will be required to pay $15 per tonne to the technology fund. The legislation, which is not yet fully in force, is expected to apply to about 100 facilities, representing about 70 per cent ofAlberta’s industrial emissions.Albertainstituted mandatory greenhouse gas reporting requirements for large industrial facilities in 2004.

In related news, the Province’s Lieutenant Governor-in-Council approved Alberta’s new Emissions Trading Regulation in February 2007. Enacted pursuant to environmental protection legislation, the Emissions Trading Regulation establishes a baseline and credit system (as opposed to a cap and trade system) and an Emissions Trading Registry for coal and gas-fired electricity producers (including cogeneration units). Generating unit operators with a maximum continuous rating of 25MW or more are required to establish an emissions trading account by designated deadlines. In addition to setting out a regime for emissions trading credits, the regulation also contains baseline calculations regarding certain specific substances and baseline emission rates for new generating units.

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Lawson Lundell's Project Law Blog focuses on updating proponents on issues emerging in the law and policy that applies to the development of major projects in Canada. The focus of the blog is on matters relating to environmental assessment and compliance, regulatory matters and Indigenous consultation.

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