The Ontario government is committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 15% by 2020, 27% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels. These reductions are legislated in the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s (“Ministry”) new Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy Act (“Act”).
Under the Act, funds raised from Ontario’s cap and trade program are to be deposited into a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account to be invested in green projects and initiatives that reduce emissions.
The Ministry is proposing a Renewable Fuel Standard for gasoline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Ontario is not, however, lowering the level of existing renewable content required under the Ethanol in Gasoline regulation and the Greener Diesel regulation.
The Ministry has recognized that transportation is one of the biggest challenges in achieving emission reduction targets. In 2014, the transportation sector accounted for approximately one third of all greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario. This represents the largest share of any sector. Although Ontario’s emissions as a whole were lower by approximately 6% between 1990 and 2014, emissions from the transportation sector grew by approximately 27% during the same period.
The Ministry has issued a discussion paper to seek comments on the various design options being considered for the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard. The proposal is posted for a sixty day public review and comment period ending on March 12, 2017.