Manitoba to launch carbon market and link it to WCI -sources

Published 23:34 on November 27, 2015  /  Last updated at 00:05 on November 28, 2015  /  Americas, Canada, US  /  No Comments

Manitoba is to launch a cap-and-trade scheme as part of its new climate change strategy, and sources told Carbon Pulse that the Canadian province will likely seek to link its market to those in Ontario, Quebec and California via WCI.

Manitoba is to launch a cap-and-trade scheme as part of its new climate change strategy, and sources told Carbon Pulse that the Canadian province will likely seek to link its market to those in Ontario, Quebec and California via WCI.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger will make the announcement on Dec. 3, local media reported this week, the day the province’s legislature breaks for the holidays and ahead of Selinger’s trip to Paris for the UN climate summit along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other provincial leaders.

“Cap-and-trade will allow us to set thresholds that we need to achieve to reduce greenhouse gas emissions … It’s another mechanism that gets us to a place where you find a way to be disciplined on reducing your greenhouse gas emissions,” he said, as quoted by the Winnipeg Free Press.

No further details were available including the proposed start date, but one source with knowledge of Manitoba’s plan said the province, one of the original partners of WCI, has been monitoring the programme for years and would at a minimum align its MRV practices with it.

Manitoba is one of Canada’s three prairie provinces, and its economy relies heavily on agriculture as well as natural resource sectors such as oil, mining and forestry.

A Manitoban carbon market would be small compared to its WCI partners’, as the province emitted just over 21 million tonnes of GHGs in 2013, according to Environment Canada, or less than 3% of the national total.

Another source said Manitoba’s scheme would likely cover around two-thirds of its total emissions, or around 13 million tonnes – roughly the annual CO2 output of a medium-sized coal-fired power plant.

Almost 40% of the province’s emissions come from transportation, with a further 30% stemming from the agriculture sector and 20% from stationary combustion processes including power generation, Environment Canada data showed.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Selinger said that cap-and-trade would only be part of its climate change strategy, which will set new longer-term GHG reduction targets for the province. He added that the province has some “novel ideas” about how to achieve further CO2 cuts.

Its neighbour to the east Ontario recently released the details of its WCI-connected carbon market, which will be the province’s main to cutting emissions by 15% below 1990 levels by 2020, 37% below by 2030, and 80% below by 2050.

And Alberta, two provinces to the west of Manitoba, last Sunday announced a new plan to replace its existing SGER carbon levy system with a new programme targetting more large emitters, while rolling out a carbon tax covering other areas of the economy.

Manitoba in 2008 enshrined Canada’s Kyoto Protocol target into its own provincial law, but three years later admitted that it wouldn’t be able to reach its goal to cut GHGs by 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. Canada pulled out of the 1997 treaty around the same time after declining to sign up for its second commitment period (2013-2020).

Manitoba’s emissions have grown nearly 20% from 1990 levels, according to Environment Canada.

Selinger reportedly communicated Manitoba’s plan to Trudeau at a meeting between the PM and the provinces on Monday, which was held to prepare for the Paris talks.

By Mike Szabo – mike@carbon-pulse.com

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