Clean Fuel Standard

The Government of Canada announced in late 2016 that it would consult with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, industries, and non-governmental organizations to develop a Clean Fuel Standard to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) through the increased use of lower carbon fuels, energy sources and technologies.

The objective of the Clean Fuel Standard is to achieve 30 million tonnes of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, making it an important contribution to the achievement of Canada’s target of reducing national emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The CFS will be a performance-based approach designed to incent the innovation and adoption of clean technologies in the oil and gas sector and the development and use of low-carbon fuels throughout the economy.

The Clean Fuel Standard regulations will cover all fossil fuels used in Canada, but will set separate requirements for liquid, gaseous and solid fossil fuels.  It is being developed in a phased approach, with liquid fuel class regulations being developed first followed by gaseous and solid fuel class regulations. The Clean Fuel Standard is complementary to other climate policies and investments being made under the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change – including carbon pollution pricing. These policies work in concert to reduce emissions across the economy, and create incentives for innovation and clean growth. 

Proposed Regulatory Approach: June 2019

On June 28, 2019 Environment and Climate Change Canada released the Proposed Regulatory Approach for the Clean Fuel Standard. This document presents the full regulatory design for the liquid fossil fuel regulations of the Clean Fuel Standard, developed with extensive engagement and consultations with stakeholders. It builds upon the Regulatory Design Paper published in December 2018 as well as the Clean Fuel Standard Regulatory Framework published in December 2017. The Proposed Regulatory Approach is a key step in the development of the Clean Fuel Standard, as it provides the full set of requirements and credit creation opportunities that will be included in the liquid class regulations.  Comments on the paper are requested by August 26, 2019.

We also encourage interested stakeholders to check out the Clean Fuel Standard backgrounder.

Next steps   

  • 2019 to 2020: Consultations continue on the design of the liquid fuel regulations and on the gaseous and solid fuel class regulations.
  • Early 2020: Proposed regulations for the liquid fuel class of the Clean Fuel Standard published in Canada Gazette, Part I, followed by consultations on the proposal. Final regulations planned for early 2021.
  • January 1, 2022: Liquid fuel class regulations come into force.
  • Mid-2021: Proposed regulations for the gaseous and solid fuel classes of the Clean Fuel Standard published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, followed by consultations on proposal. Final regulations planned for 2022.
  • January 1, 2023: Gaseous and solid fuel regulations come into force.

Engagement and consultation

Since January 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada has engaged stakeholders, provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, industries, and non-governmental organizations to seek views on the design for the development of the Clean Fuel Standard.  Information on the various activities to date can be found below, on this webpage page.

Following the December 2017 release of a regulatory framework on the Clean Fuel Standard, a multi-stakeholder consultative committee and technical working group were formed to further the regulatory design and development of the standard.

The multi-stakeholder consultative committee consists of representatives from key industry associations, academia, environmental non-governmental organizations, provincial and territorial governments and other federal departments. This committee meets periodically and provides a forum for Environment and Climate Change Canada to update all interested parties on progress and for stakeholders to provide advice and input on the draft regulations.

The technical working group consists of a small group of technical subject experts from the affected industries, non-government organizations and academia who provide technical advice and data and feedback on the regulatory design. The work of the technical working group is reported back to the multi-stakeholder consultative committee.

In the fall of 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada established the Clean Fuel Standard Task Group on Emission-Intensive and Trade-Exposed Sectors to better understand the concerns of these sectors and to consider options to mitigate competitiveness impacts while meeting the Clean Fuel Standard’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.  This multistakeholder Task Group has met a number of times during winter and spring 2019.

Engagement with National Indigenous Organizations is being undertaken in conjunction with consultations organized by the department on other climate change regulations. Engagement and discussions with provinces and territories will continue through a federal/provincial/territorial working group.

For more information on how to remain engaged on the development of the Clean Fuel Standard, please contact: ec.cfsncp.ec@canada.ca.

Lifecycle assessment model

A robust, transparent, and modern lifecycle assessment model is being developed to support the development and implementation of the Clean Fuel Standard. In order to determine the carbon intensity of the various fuels produced in and imported into Canada, the model will calculate greenhouse gas emissions using a lifecycle approach.  The timelines for the model’s development are:

  • public launch of model: 2021
  • interface and final software model: 2021
  • low carbon fuel pathways and default carbon intensity values: fall 2019
  • revised fossil fuel baseline carbon intensity values: winter 2020
  • request for proposals on the Government of Canada’s Buy and Sell: July 2018

Cost-Benefit Analysis Framework:  February 2019

In February 2019, Environment and Climate Change Canada released the Cost-Benefit Analysis Framework for the Clean Fuel Standard for comment. The cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is part of a regulatory impact analysis statement (RIAS) that is published in the Canada Gazette along with regulations (and proposed regulations) to estimate the incremental benefit and cost impacts to society attributable to those regulations (and proposed regulations). This CBA framework deals with the liquid fuel class design of the proposed CFS Regulations, and outlines the approach for the CBA as part of the RIAS that will accompany the publication of the proposed Regulations. All feedback received on the Framework will carefully considered in the development of the analysis.

Regulatory Design Paper:  December 20, 2018

On December 20, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada released the Regulatory Design Paper for the Clean Fuel Standard. This document presents key elements of the design of the Clean Fuel Standard regulations. Its primary focus is on liquid fossil fuels, following the July 2018 announced revised approach to developing the Clean Fuel Standard of starting with the development of the standard for liquid fuels, followed by gaseous and solid fuels together. Some information is also provided on the proposed requirements for the gaseous and solid fuel regulations, which will follow the liquid class proposed regulations.

Regulatory framework: December 13, 2017

On December 13, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada published a regulatory framework on the Clean Fuel Standard. The framework outlines the key elements of the design of the Clean Fuel Standard regulation, including its scope, regulated parties, carbon intensity approach, timing, and potential compliance options such as credit trading. The Clean Fuel Standard regulatory framework was published December 13, 2017 for a 30 day comment period on Environment and Climate Change Canada's website and in the Canada Gazette, Part 1 on December 23, 2017.

Release of the Clean Fuel Standard: Summary of stakeholder written comments on the discussion paper report, November 6, 2017

Environment and Climate Change Canada released a report prepared by the International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD), which summarizes the comments received in response to the discussion paper. The report can be obtained here: Clean Fuel Standard: Summary of stakeholder written comments on the Discussion Paper.

Technical webinars: April 2017

A series of five (5) technical webinars were held in April 2017 to seek early input from stakeholders in advance of the development of a proposed Clean Fuel Standard framework. The report can be obtained by contacting Environment and Climate Change Canada at: ec.cfsncp.ec@canada.ca  

Multi-stakeholder workshop on the Clean Fuel Standard: March 6, 2017 and webinars on March 23 and 24, 2017

A broad, multi-stakeholder workshop was held on March 6, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario to hear initial views on the key elements and considerations in the design of the regulatory framework as laid out in the discussion paper on Clean Fuel Standard. Webinars were also held on March 23 and 24, 2017. The report can be obtained by contacting Environment and Climate Change Canada at: ec.cfsncp.ec@canada.ca

Discussion paper on the Clean Fuel Standard: February 24, 2017

A discussion paper on the Clean Fuel Standard was published to seek early views to help inform the development of a regulatory framework in advance of developing the Clean Fuel Standard. The paper laid out different approaches being used in other jurisdictions to reduce GHG emissions from fuels and posed technical questions related to the potential applicability of various elements of a Clean Fuel Standard, including scope, timing and stringency. The discussion paper can be obtained here: Clean Fuel Standard: Discussion paper. The comment period closed on April 25, 2017. Copies of submissions from organizations that consented to make their comments public can be obtained by contacting Environment and Climate Change Canada at: ec.cfsncp.ec@canada.ca

Clean Fuel Standard roundtable: February 7, 2017

On February 7, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada held a roundtable on the Clean Fuel Standard with industry, provinces and territories and non-governmental organizations. Documents from the workshop are available by contacting Environment and Climate Change Canada at: ec.cfsncp.ec@canada.ca

Information webinar on announcement and consultation plan: January 30 and 31, 2017

Environment and Climate Change Canada hosted broad webinar sessions on the Governments November 2016 Clean Fuel Standard announcement and on the consultation process.  

News

Contact information

For more information or to receive email notifications of changes regarding Environment and Climate Change Canada’s actions on the Clean Fuel Standard, please contact us at: ec.cfsncp.ec@canada.ca

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