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Canada's Climate Crusade: Navigating the New Era of GHG Legislation

December 6, 2023

Staying ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of climate change legislation can be challenging. Canada is engaged in 123 international agreements and both federal and provincial bodies have jurisdiction on the matter. Additionally, Canadian regulators have enhanced the requirements for environmental disclosure, marking a significant shift in the nation's environmental governance.
Below are five noteworthy trends in climate change regulation:

  1. Revamping Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act propels the nation towards carbon neutrality by 2050. Supplementing this, various laws, such as the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, are intensifying carbon pricing to meet 2030 benchmarks. Both federal and provincial levels are advancing initiatives like clean fuel standards and other strategies for reduced carbon emissions.

  2. Federal Incentives for Greener Practices. The Canadian government is not only legislating but also incentivizing greener practices. Tax credits for both consumers and businesses, along with a C$15-billion fund for low carbon technology investments, exemplify this approach, aiming to spur reductions in carbon emissions.

  3. Green Procurement Policies. Since April 2023, federal procurements over C$25-million mandate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission disclosures and emission reduction plans aligned with the Paris Agreement. By December 2024, this requirement will encompass construction projects and services exceeding C$10-million.

  4. Climate Risk Management in Finance. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions set forth guidelines in March 2023 for managing and disclosing climate risks among federally regulated banks and insurers. These guidelines emphasize climate-conscious business planning and resilience strategies, with a gradual implementation over three years.

  5. Evolving GHG Emission Trading. Several provinces are adopting varied GHG trading systems for major emitters. Emission trading and carbon offsets are gaining prominence, with an expected surge in the role of carbon offset generators within the green economy.

Have more than five minutes? Contact any member of our Environmental group to learn more.