Monday, December 6, 2010

Manitoba Follows BC Lead in Consulting Public on Cap-and-Trade Scheme

In a previous post, I noted that British Columbia's Ministry of Environment announced a 45-day public consultation period on its proposed regulations for large greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters. As that province recently concluded its consultation period, another province embarked on one of its own.  The Government of Manitoba is seeking public input on using a cap-and-trade system as its primary mechanism to reduce its GHG emissions.  It will offer a slightly extended comment period of approximately three months once it has finally concluded on March 15, 2011.

As with BC, Manitoba is expected to integrate its system into the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), which is scheduled to commence with the first phase of a trading system among Ontario, Quebec, California and a number of other U.S. states by January 1, 2012. A cap-and-trade system will permit these governments to issue allowances to entities that emit GHGs and then if those entities reduce emissions below their limits, the entities will be able to sell or bank surplus allowances for future use. If successful, the system would impose a broader cap on GHGs three years later.

The WCI’s objective is to reduce GHG emissions in the region by 15% below 2005 levels by 2020. However, some members have more ambitious targets than the WCI as a whole. For instance, Manitoba has a stated goal of reducing net emissions in the province to below 1990 levels by 2012. In 2008, Manitboa’s estimated GHG emissions was 21.9 megatonnes (Mt) (measured in carbon dioxide equivalent units or CO2e). This was approximately 3% of Canada’s 734 Mt of total emissions.

According to the Government, Manitoba’s GHG emissions profile is unique in Canada. Unlike other  provinces - where GHG emissions originate from a small number of large emitters - the majority of Manitoba’s GHG emissions are from many smaller emitters across a wide range of sectors.

Interested parties can pose questions about submitting a response to:

Manitoba Conservation
Climate Change Branch
Climate Change and Environmental Protection Division
1200 -155 Carlton Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3H8
Telephone: 204-945-3268 (in Winnipeg)
Toll free: 1 - 866-460-3118

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