Ontario industry needs post-2020 carbon policy

On June 21st, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) met with Glen Murray, the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, to discuss post-2020 carbon policies for the province and their effect on the chemistry industry. 

Representing CIAC were Shannon Watt, Director, Environment and Health Policy, Luc Robitaille, Vice-President, Responsible Care® and Don Fusco, Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations – Ontario.  Accompanying the group were Peter Noble, Imperial Oil and Chair of the CIAC Technical Management Committee and James Baldwin, NOVA Chemicals.

CIAC took the opportunity to highlight the chemistry industry’s importance to Ontario’s economy as the third largest manufacturing sector, second largest manufacturing exporter and generator of 270,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

In relation to climate change, the group emphasized the following points:

  • Through our Responsible Care® code of ethic and principles, and commitment to continuous improvement and sustainability, CIAC Ontario member-companies have reduced their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 38 per cent since 2004. 

  • The chemistry sector is uniquely positioned as a key source of innovation and solutions to the climate change challenge through light weighting, energy efficiency, cleaner water, cleaner air and improved agricultural production. 
  • Ontario’s chemistry sector is evolving but has not grown at the same pace as other clusters in North America.  There are near-term and longer-term investment opportunities to continue the sector’s growth and evolution. 
  • Securing new investment and expansion opportunities will bring the latest and most efficient technology, which allows for step change in environmental performance, and will improve competitiveness in the sector to nurture and commercialize innovative and disruptive technologies.

CIAC believes that in the post-2020 regulatory environment, it is important for Ontario’s GHG policy to not shift manufacturing activity out of the province to higher carbon footprint jurisdictions. CIAC asserted the need to maintain the current energy intensive trade exposed treatment for the sector, as well as provided recommendations for combustion and indirect emissions, offsets, and proceeds, with the member-company representatives offering examples.

As the Ministry prepares to continue post-2020 consultations, CIAC will continue to stress consistency and competitiveness in Ontario’s cap and trade regulations.