The Ontario Cap and Trade regime is finally here, with its (complex) allocations, offsets and auction mechanisms.  Ontario large emitters (25,000+ CO2e tonnes per year) will have already immersed themselves in Cap and Trade, perhaps in conjunction with the linked Quebec or California schemes, or the international programs.  (A “practice” auction was held for large emitters earlier this year).


Who Are Small Regulated Emitters?

But what about the relatively small emitters (circa 10-25,000 CO2e tonnes annually)?

First, you should check Table 2 of the GHG reporting regulation to make sure your activities are caught – merely having a Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Environmental Compliance Approval for air emissions doesn’t guarantee you’re a reporting entity (though your inclusion is now trending).

Second, you quantify your 2016 calendar year emissions using the Regulation methodology to determine if you hit the 10,000 CO2e tonnes threshold- if so, you become a regulated reporter in Ontario.


What Happens if You Don’t Emit 10,000 CO2e Tonnes in Future Years?

If you report emissions of 10,000 CO2e tonnes in any year, you become annually obligated thereafter until you can report 3 additional successive sub-10,000 CO2e tonnes emissions years.  If you do – you’re released from future reporting unless and until you hit the 10,000-threshold again (which, in the interim, likely means quantification without disclosure).


Who Verifies and What’s the Deadline?

Reportable emissions for each calendar year must be certified by an accredited emissions verification body and the emitter’s representative is obligated to make the certification to the MOECC.

The 2016 reporting deadline is June 1, 2017. 


Jonathan D. Cocker heads Baker McKenzie’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of the firm's Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environmental and product compliance matters, including extended producer responsibilities, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, and contaminated lands matters. He assisted in the founding of one of North America’s first Circular Economy Producer Responsibility Organizations and provides advice and representation to a number of domestic and international industry groups in respect of resource recovery obligations. Mr. Cocker was recently appointed the first Sustainability Officer of the International Bar Association Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on environmental issues and has authored numerous publications including recent publications in the Environment and Climate Change Law Review, Detritus – the Official Journal of the International Waste Working Group, Chemical Watch, Circular Economy: Global Perspectives published by Springer, and in the upcoming Yale University Journal of Industrial Ecology’s special issue on Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation. Mr. Cocker maintains a blog focused upon international resource recovery issues at