41:2 Bill 62, Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Amendment Act, 2016

Tabuns, Peter

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Bill 62                                                                                                                                                    2016

An Act to amend the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

   1.  Subsection 1 (1) of the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 is amended by adding the following definitions:

“carbon budget” means the maximum amount of carbon that can be released into the atmosphere as set out in the climate change action plan prepared under section 7; (“budget carbone”)

“carbon budget period” means,

  (a)  the period beginning on January 1, 2018 and ending on December 31, 2020, and

  (b)  each five-year period thereafter, beginning on January 1, 2021; (“période de budget carbone”)

   2.  Subsections 6 (1) and (2) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Emission reduction targets

   (1)  The following targets are established for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the amount of emissions in Ontario calculated for 1990:

    1.  A reduction of at least 15 per cent by the end of 2020.

    2.  A reduction of at least 45 per cent by the end of 2030.

    3.  A reduction of at least 80 per cent by the end of 2040.

Increased targets based on emerging science

   (2)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, increase the targets specified in subsection (1) for any reason, including if, based on emerging science relating to climate change, it is determined that greater reduction is required in order to limit the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

   3.  (1)  Subsection 7 (5) of the Act is amended by adding the following paragraph:

    4.  A carbon budget that meets the criteria set out in subsection (5.1) for each carbon budget period.

   (2)  Section 7 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Criteria for carbon budget

   (5.1)  Each carbon budget shall be developed for the purpose of achieving the emission reduction targets set out in section 6 and shall include the following:

    1.  A limit on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, in Ontario during the carbon budget period.

    2.  Targets for emissions of each type of greenhouse gas, expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, in Ontario during the carbon budget period.

    3.  Targets for greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, from each sector of the economy in Ontario during the carbon budget period.

    4.  Targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, that is expected to result from the implementation of each of the Government of Ontario’s greenhouse gas emission reduction programs during the carbon budget period.

    5.  Estimated costs to the Government of Ontario for the carrying out of its greenhouse gas emission reduction programs during the carbon budget period.

   4.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Bills re carbon budget

   7.1  (1)  Before the beginning of each carbon budget period, the Minister shall introduce a bill in the Legislative Assembly that would provide for the carbon budget described in subsection 7 (5.1) for that period.

Matters to be taken into consideration

   (2)  Before introducing such a bill, the Minister shall take into consideration,

  (a)  the potential effects of not addressing climate change in Ontario, including economic and social effects;

  (b)  scientific knowledge about climate change;

   (c)  technology relevant to climate change;

  (d)  economic circumstances, including the likely impact of the carbon budget with respect to,

           (i)  the economy and the competitiveness of particular sectors of the economy, and

          (ii)  economic opportunities arising from Ontario’s transformation of the energy sector and adaptation to new climate circumstances;

  (e)  fiscal circumstances, and in particular the likely impact of the carbon budget on taxation, public spending and public borrowing;

   (f)  social circumstances, and in particular the likely impact of the carbon budget on fuel poverty; and

  (g)  energy policy, and in particular the likely impact of the carbon budget on energy supplies and the carbon and energy intensity of the economy.

Publication of considerations

   (3)  The Minister shall make available any material the Minister takes into consideration for the purposes of subsection (4) by publishing the material on a website of the Government of Ontario on or before the day the bill is introduced.

Where emissions limit is exceeded

   (4)  If the limit on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions established for the carbon budget period is exceeded, the Minister shall, no later than May 31 in the second year following the end of that carbon budget period, introduce a bill to lower the limit that has been established for the next carbon budget period by at least twice the amount by which the limit from the previous carbon budget period was exceeded.

Consultation with Environmental Commissioner

   (5)  Before introducing a bill to lower a limit, the Minister shall obtain and consider the advice of the Environmental Commissioner.

Programs for adaptation to climate change

   7.2  (1)  The Minister shall establish a program for Ontario’s adaptation to climate change for each carbon budget period.

Contents of program

   (2)  The program shall contain the following:

    1.  The objectives of the program, which shall include the following:

            i.  The protection of life.

           ii.  The protection of property.

          iii.  The protection of biological diversity.

          iv.  Providing assistance to individuals affected by Ontario’s reduced reliance on fossil fuels, including individuals whose employment is affected.

           v.  Providing assistance to individuals, communities and businesses negatively affected by climate change.

    2.  The Government of Ontario’s proposals and policies for meeting the objectives of the program.

    3.  The timeframe for introducing the proposals and policies.

    4.  The estimated costs of the proposals and policies.

    5.  An explanation of how the program would address the risks for Ontario of the current and predicted impacts of climate change identified under the most recent report prepared under section 71.1.

Same

   (3)  The objectives, proposals and policies set out in the program must be developed so as to contribute to sustainable development.

Requirement to introduce climate change adaptation bill

   (4)  Before the beginning of each carbon budget period, the Minister shall introduce a bill in the Legislative Assembly that provides for the establishment of a program described in this section.

   5.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Annual report, Government of Ontario’s progress

   71.1  (1)  Each year, the Minister shall prepare a report on,

  (a)  the Government Ontario’s progress with respect to its greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs and the carbon budget; and

  (b)  an assessment of the risks for Ontario of the current and predicted impacts of climate change.

Same

   (2)  The report shall be prepared in accordance with the regulations and shall be laid before the Assembly.

Role of Environmental Commissioner

   71.2  (1)  The Environmental Commissioner shall provide guidance to the Minister on how to comply with the requirements of this Act as they apply to the Minister.

Audits

   (2)  The Environmental Commissioner shall audit the reports prepared by the Minister under section 71.1 and shall provide the results of each audit to the Minister.

Audit results

   (3)  The Minister shall lay the results of each audit before the Assembly.

Commencement

   6.  This Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

Short title

   7.  The short title of this Act is the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Amendment Act, 2016.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 as follows:

    1.   New targets are established for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

    2.   Currently, section 7 of the Act sets out the requirements for the climate change action plan. The Bill amends the Act to require that the climate change action plan include a carbon budget for the purpose of achieving the emission reduction targets in section 6. The Bill sets out the requirements for a carbon budget.

    3.   The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change is required to introduce a bill in the Assembly to establish each carbon budget and to establish a program for Ontario’s adaptation to climate change for each carbon budget period.

    4.   If a carbon budget is exceeded, the Minister is required to introduce a bill in the Assembly to lower the next carbon budget by at least twice the amount of the excess.

    5.   The Minister is required to prepare annual reports on the risks for Ontario of the current and predicted impacts of climate change and the Government of Ontario’s progress with respect to its greenhouse gas emission reduction programs and the carbon budget.

    6.   The role of the Environmental Commissioner under the Act is set out.

 

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