Articles related to environmental policy

CIAC welcomes Federal Government’s decision to delay Clean Fuel Standard for further analysis

On July 19, the Federal Government announced an adjusted timeline for the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), stating, “Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) recognizes the need for additional time to work with interested parties to conduct robust technical and economic analysis to ensure that the CFS achieves its goal while maintaining Canadian competitiveness.”

CIAC welcomes the decision to delay the CFS and supports the government’s efforts to work with stakeholders on the regulation. As it is currently being proposed, the CFS will include standards for industry and buildings along with transportation, making it the first of its kind in the world. It is a complex regulatory piece requiring thorough engagement and careful development to ensure that it complements, and does not duplicate, current provincial and federal carbon pricing policies.

The new approach will first develop standards for the liquid fuel stream followed by gaseous and solid fuel streams. The timeline has been adjusted as such:

  • For liquid fuels:  Publish proposed regulations in spring-summer 2019 and final regulations in 2020, with requirements coming into force by 2022.
  • For gaseous and solid fuels:  Publish proposed regulations in fall 2020, final regulations in 2021 with requirements coming into force by 2023

This fall, we can expect the release of the regulatory design paper and a cost-benefit analysis framework. These documents will allow industry to better understand the economic breakdown and implementation of the regulation. CIAC is supportive of carbon pricing and reducing emissions, however, the CFS has many direct and indirect implications and costs for the chemistry industry.

We are hopeful that the extended timelines for the CFS will provide for better consultation and cooperation between industry and the government to create a regulation that supports a low-carbon economy, competitiveness and innovation for the future of Canadians.

CIAC will continue to advocate on behalf of our member-companies and looks forward to working with the federal government to ensure the CFS framework is realistic, effective, and addresses industry concerns on competitiveness and feasibility.

CIAC congratulates Elysis for new carbon-free aluminum production process

Congratulations to Canadian aluminum sector leaders Alcoa, Alcana and Apple who, with the support of the Federal and Quebec Governments, have developed a new carbon-free aluminum production process that will eventually result in annual greenhouse gas reductions of more than six million tons in Canada alone.

“The process relies upon decades of research in totally new chemical reactions from those associated with carbon-based production methods,” said Vincent Christ, CEO of Elysis, the new joint venture.

This success illustrates that by working together, the resource, manufacturing and chemistry sectors can point the way to a more sustainable future while growing the economy, here in Canada, while at the same time reducing emissions. The new venture will be in Quebec and export the technology throughout the rest of the world.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum Smelting Process

$558 million investment project will create and maintain thousands of jobs in Canada

Advocating for modernized excess soil management regulations in Ontario to achieve beneficial use without affecting economic opportunities

Chemistry sector addressing plastic waste head on

As our leaders head to the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec on June 8 with the intention of proposing the “Paris Agreement for marine litter,” and as our colleagues at Plastics Europe and the American Chemistry Council propose aggressive targets to curb plastic waste, we are now at a decisive moment when it comes to public policy and the global plastics value chain.

I am confident that this inflection point will create conditions for optimism, innovation and meaningful progress in the Canadian chemistry and plastics sector, as we chart the way to a future with zero waste.

As part of this leadership, CIAC has partnered with the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and their members to announce the following waste reduction targets:

  • an aspirational goal of 100 per cent of plastics packaging is re-used, recycled, or recovered by 2040, and
  • an aggressive interim goal of 100 per cent of plastics packaging is recyclable or recoverable by 2030.

These targets will not be easy to achieve. They will require actions on behalf of all society. Likewise, the issue of marine litter requires all industry, every citizen and every government on the planet to come together.

We can all agree that plastics do not belong in the ocean, nor in any other water way – period. It is a significant waste of precious resources for plastics to be used once and then discarded as waste.

However, plastics remain central to our future. They are a key enabler to our modern and more sustainable way of living. They keep food fresher for longer, they make our cars and homes more energy efficient, they provide exceptional convenience and they do all that in a way that is cost effective and with clear environmental benefits over alternatives.

Industry, along with federal and provincial and municipal policy makers and other policy influencers, need to begin to work closer together to create the conditions where the value of plastics can be realized more than once, and in some cases multiple times across their lifecycle. Part of our role will include designing materials and applications for greater recovery, reuse and recyclability.

We also need to think globally. Neither Canada nor any other G7 nation is anywhere near being a significant contributor to ocean plastics litter. The nations that are key contributors need urgent technical and financial assistance to ensure access to modern, efficient waste management services which we in Canada largely take for granted.

In Canada and other G7 nations, we need to think differently about plastics and stop seeing them as a waste that needs to be eliminated. The chemistry industry is ready and willing to address this new challenge head on.

CIAC appears before Senate Committee studying Bill C-74 to discuss carbon-pricing legislation

Isabelle Des Chênes, CIAC Executive Vice-President, and Shannon Watt, Director of Environment and Health Policy, appeared before the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on May 3, 2018. Senators are conducting a pre-study of the provisions of Bill C-74, the budget implementation bill, that deal with the government’s plan to price greenhouse gas emissions.

CIAC and its members support efforts to reduce global carbon emissions and have worked collaboratively with both provincial and federal officials to ensure that carbon policies and pricing mechanisms improve environmental performance, avoid double-regulation and maintain Canada’s competitiveness.

Ms. Des Chênes noted that “Canada should support a carbon policy that recognizes emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors and encourages investments in the Canadian chemistry sector. Additionally, given the incredible investments in innovations and technologies to improve performance around air emissions and climate change, Canada’s proposed output-based allocation process should focus on benchmarking Canadian chemistry operations and performance against global competitors.”

Additionally, Ms. Watt reinforced the point that government needs to provide a comprehensive analysis of the cumulative impacts of the suite of climate change policies including the proposed Clean Fuel Standard.

Watch the CPAC recording: Fuel Suppliers Discuss the Carbon Tax

Panelists discuss Canada’s low carbon future at the Industrial Gas Users Association’s Spring Seminar

CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson gave a brief overview of chemistry’s role in Canada’s transition to the low-carbon energy future at a panel for the Industrial Gas Users Association Spring Seminar in Montebello, Quebec on Tuesday, May 15.

The topic of the seminar panel was Heavy Industry is Necessary in Canada’s Low Carbon Future. Speakers touched on topics such as the Paris Accord, the Pan-Canadian Framework, as well as near-term and long-term targets.

“Demand for chemistry products are forecast to triple in the next 20 years. And it isn’t hard to see why: the products our members make enable our modern, more sustainable way of life,” Mr. Masterson told the crowd.

“We all need sound policies from our government that encourage growth while meeting the needs of our global commitments to sustainability. The world truly needs more good chemistry – made-in-Canada chemistry – to meet our low-carbon goals.”

The invitation only, two-day event included key natural gas stakeholders including users, pipelines and utilities, marketers, regulators and policy makers. Other participants in the panel discussion included the Mining Association of Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada and the Canadian Steel Producers Association.

CIAC comments on draft regulations related to the Environment Quality Act (French only)

Au cours de l’année 2016, le Gouvernement du Québec a publié le Livre Vert ayant pour objectif de moderniser le régime d’autorisation environnementale.  À ce moment, l’ACIC avait présenté un premier mémoire.  De là est né la nouvelle Loi sur la Qualité de l’environnement (LQE), adopté le 23 mars 2017 et mise en vigueur le 23 mars 2018.

Dès l’automne 2017, le Ministère du développement durable, de l’environnement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC) a mis à jour vingt-deux (22) projets de règlements pour assurer la cohérence avec la nouvelle loi.  Des journées de consultation ont été organisées auprès des différents groupes d’intérêts, des associations sectorielles et des entreprises pour obtenir leurs commentaires.  En collaboration avec le Conseil Patronal de l’environnement du Québec, l’ACIC, avec la précieuse collaboration de ses compagnies membres, a amorcé la rédaction de mémoires pour ces projets de règlements.  En priorité, l’ACIC a présenté un mémoire en collaboration avec le CPEQ quant aux mesures transitoires à mettre en place dans le cadre de la nouvelle loi et a présenté trois mémoires afin de présenter des commentaires spécifiques à ses opérations.  Les trois (3) mémoires présentés visaient les projets de règlements suivants :

  • Projet de règlement relatif à l’évaluation et à l’examen des impacts sur l’environnement de certains projets ;
  • Projet de règlement relatif à l’autorisation ministérielle et à la déclaration de conformité en matière environnementale ;
  • Règlement modifiant le Règlement sur les attestations d’assainissement en milieu industriel.

D’autres projets de règlements on fait l’objet d’analyse mais n’ont pas fait l’objet de mémoires considérant leur absence d’impact sur les opérations de notre industrie.

Tout au long de la rédaction de ces mémoires les objectifs de l’ACIC étaient :

  • Assurer la compétitivité de notre industrie chimique au Québec ;
  • Favoriser la simplification du régime environnemental ;
  • Assurer l’utilisation efficiente des ressources en environnement de nos entreprises et du gouvernement ;
  • Assurer la valeur ajoutée des demandes du ministère de l’environnement aux activités d’amélioration du développement durable.

Un travail de collégialité ayant permis de servir les intérêts de nos compagnies membres.

Moving to zero waste will require industry, government and society collaboration, says CIAC

On April 24, the G7 Plastics Industry Coalition, including CIAC and representatives from our membership, met with government officials and other stakeholders in the plastics value chain to discuss Canada’s objectives for the G7 Plastics Charter, which the government plans to promote at the G7 in Quebec this June.

The event was organized by the Coalition, which was founded by CIAC, Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and the American Chemistry Council Plastics Division (ACC PD), to represent industry perspectives in the global and domestic plastics dialogue. CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson gave opening remarks for the workshop, setting the stage for collaborative discussion.

“It is undisputable that plastics do not belong in the ocean, nor in any other water way – period. It is indeed a significant waste of precious resources for plastics to be used once and then discarded as waste,” he told attendees. “However, plastics are not a scourge. They are, in fact, a fundamental contributor and key enabler to modern more sustainable living.”

Industry has a role to play in designing materials and applications for greater recovery, reuse and recyclability, Mr. Masterson told the audience, but addressing the issue of marine litter and plastic waste will require actions from society as a whole, not just industry.

“Our efforts will fail if the highly responsible and highly innovative plastics industry is set up as a villain for a marine litter issue that needs to be owned by every citizen and every government on the planet,” he said.

Also in attendance were: Carol Hochu of CPIA, Keith Christman of ACC PD, representatives from the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Beverage Association, Canada Fibres, Pembina Pipeline Corporation/ CKPC, InterPipeline, Emterra Group, Ice River Springs, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The day-long workshop was very well received by all attendees. CIAC and its partners in the G7 Plastics Industry Coalition will continue to regularly collaborate with the federal government and other stakeholders on the Plastics Charter in the lead up to the June G7 meeting.

Learn about chemistry’s role in clean tech and the low-carbon economy at the Sixth Estate

Please join Shannon Watt, CIAC Director of Environment and Health Policy, on May 1 for what promises to be a lively discussion on the growing business of clean tech in Canada.

From building insulation and lighter plastics for vehicles, to solar panels and wind turbines, the products that will help move society to a more sustainable future need chemistry. Canada must fully develop the potential of its chemistry industry so it can deliver solutions to reduce emissions both within the industry, throughout Canada and around the world.

Read Shannon’s op-ed on the topic here.

 The Sixth Estate Before the Bell panel discussion

National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa Ontario

May 1, 2018. 7:30 to 9a.m. ET

Speakers include:

  • Shannon Watt, CIAC Director of Environment and Health Policy
  • Industry experts from Export Development Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, Ecotech Quebec and the Globe and Mail.

If you are not able to attend in person, watch live online here.

Senate report looks at how chemistry sector can reduce carbon emissions

CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson underscored the chemistry sector’s crucial role to achieving Canada’s emission reduction challenge when he appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in February 2017.

The resulting recommendations were published earlier this month in a report called Decarbonizing Heavy Industry: The Low-Carbon Transition of Canada’s Emission-Intensive and Trade-Exposed Industries.

“We have among the highest and richest reserves of natural gas and natural gas liquids that allow for chemical production from methane, ethane and propane, which have the lowest greenhouse gas potential of all the remaining chemical feedstocks,” Mr. Masterson told the Committee.

However, he raised concerns that the uncertainty over carbon pricing after 2020 created a poor environment to attract investment.

“When we can’t tell people what the regulatory and pricing environment looks like after three years from today, in 2020, they’re going to be very hesitant to put their money into Canada,” he said.

Read the full report here.

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