Ministry of Environment

Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act

Consultation for a Proposed Emissions Trading Regulation

About the Proposed Emissions Trading Regulation

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act (Cap and Trade Act) was given Royal Assent on May 29, 2008. The Act enables B.C. to implement a cap and trade system, the design of which is being discussed with the partners in the Western Climate Initiative. This cap and trade program has a planned start date of January 1, 2012.

A cap and trade program is one method of pricing carbon to reduce emissions. Carbon pricing applies a market price on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to reflect the value or cost of achieving a greenhouse gas reduction target. To learn more about how cap and trade works with the rest of B.C.’s carbon pricing strategy, see:

The proposed Emissions Trading Regulation is designed to establish an efficient, fair market for trading cap-and-trade compliance units. A fair market will include clear rules on how allowances are created, distributed or auctioned, traded, tracked and retired for compliance.

The Ministry of Environment intends to develop additional regulations under the Cap and Trade Act. The enacted Reporting Regulation is being expanded to complete coverage of imported electricity and revised to reflect refinements to upstream oil and gas emissions quantification. There will also be consultation on a proposed Offsets Regulation. A regulation on compliance and enforcement is planned to follow in 2011.

Consultation Paper

The Ministry consulted with stakeholders, First Nations and the general public on the proposed Cap and Trade Emissions Trading Regulation. The consultation period ended on December 6, 2010.

Following review of comments and submissions, the ministry will complete legal drafting of the proposed regulation.

Comments received will be treated with confidentiality by ministry staff and contractors. Please note that the comments you provide and information that identifies you as the source of those comments may be publicly available if a Freedom of Information (FOI) request is made under the Freedom of Inform­ation and Protec­tion of Privacy Act.

Process for Establishing the proposed Emissions Trading Regulation

The development process for the proposed regulation consists of five phases.

  • Scoping – including work with the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) design process and commis­sioned assessments of specific technical issues and ministry staff assessment of issues and alternatives.
  • Ministry Consultation Papers – out­lining the ministry’s proposed approach to regulating offsets in British Columbia.
  • Consultation – with affected stakeholders and the general public, using this consultation paper and response forms posted on the ministry website, as well as through ongoing activities of CAS and the WCI.
  • Drafting – preparation of legal language for consideration by the Minister and Lieuten­ant Governor-in-Council.
  • Implementation – informing ministry staff and external stakeholders, and developing guidelines and/or best management practices.


The Ministry hosts information sessions regarding the Emissions Trading and Offsets consultation papers.

For further details, including dates, times and how to participate, please see the Webinars Page.

Consultation Summary

Throughout the course of our public consultation period in Fall 2010, the Climate Action Secretariat received a wealth of insightful comments from businesses, environmental organizations, First Nations and community groups about how to best implement an economic system that will help fight climate change. We were pleased to see that every sector offered their input on implementation.

B.C. will continue to work with California and other participating jurisdictions, while consulting extensively with stakeholders in B.C. as we make the decision on how to move forward. The feedback from the consultations will provide an invaluable guide for ensuring we develop a system that works best for all of our stakeholders. Linked below you will find summaries of the feedback we received. We look forward to your continued engagement.