On December 3rd, Ontario passed Bill 185, amending the Environmental Protection Act to provide a framework for a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the province. The amended act now allows Ontario to join other cap-and-trade systems systems in North America and abroad.
It authorizes the Environment Minister to regulate emissions trading and other economic and financial instruments and market-based approaches. This will allow for the distribution of economic financial instruments relating to GHG emissions through sale, auction and by other means.
The amended act also requires proceeds from the sale or distribution of such instruments to be deposited in a separate account to used toward supporting and administering GHG reduction initiatives.