Ontario Carbon Dashboard

ICE V2017 Dec 17: 14.99 0.00 (0%) ICE V2018 Dec 18: 15.42 0.02 (0.13%) ICE V2019 Dec 19: 15.83 0.02 (0.13%) ICE V2020 Dec 20: 16.26 0.02 (0.12%) OTC CCA V2017 Dec 17: 15.14 0.00 (0%)






Auction Results for December 2017 Auction #4

Summary: The fourth cap-and-trade auction in Ontario was undersubscribed clearing only 20,898,000 allowances at a floor price of CAD17.83 with a bid-ratio of 0.83. The results would be seen as surprising ahead of the linkage with California and Quebec as the last three Ontario auctions were fully subscribed and the November Joint Auction clearing price was the highest yet. The demand for allowances in the current auction was likely dampened by fears surrounding the provincial election results in 2018. The Progressive Conservative Party has promised to replace cap and trade with a carbon tax if it comes to power after elections in June next year. In contrast, the advanced auction was fully sold out clearing 3,116,700 allowances with a subscription ratio of 1.45 and clearing at CAD 18.89, which is CAD 1.51 above the auction reserve price. This indicates that at least some entities hold strong faith in the continuation of the program.

Auction ResultsCurrent 2017 VintageFuture 2020 Vintage
Total Allowances Available for Sale25,296,3673,116,700
Total Allowances Sold20,898,0003,116,700
Total Qualified Bids Divided by Total Allowances Available0.831.45
Proportion of Allowances Purchased by Capped Participants91.5%92.9%
Herfindahl-Hirschman Index1,4041,873

For a comprehensive breakdown of Ontario’s first auction and secondary market impact analysis please see Ontario Cap-and-Trade December Auction Results 2017

The Climate Action Reserve are currently working with Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to deliver 13 adapted protocols for compliance under Ontario’s cap-and-trade program. Offset issuances and project developments will be displayed here as-and-when the they occur For more information please see Ontario Draft Offset Regulations


In 2016 the government of Ontario passed the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016. The act outlines the framework for the province’s, cap-and-trade program with the aim of establishing an effective market mechanism to curb greenhouse gas emission levels and transition the province to a low-carbon economy.

Ontario’s cap-and-trade program came into full effect in 2017. The program covers all facilities emitting over 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse emissions per year, electricity importers and fuel suppliers that sell more than 200 litres of fuel per year. In partnership with the Western Climate Initiative, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change intends to link the province’s cap-and-trade program with California and Quebec, expanding North America’s largest carbon market.

This page provides all the relevant documentation and information needed for compliance entities and market participants operating within Ontario’s carbon market.

Ontario’s first compliance period will consist of the four years of 1st Jan 2017 to 31st Dec 2020. After this initial longer compliance period, Ontario will synchronize with the rolling 3-year periods scheduled in the broader WCI program.

WCI Compliance Periods

  • First Compliance Period (2013-2014)
  • First Compliance Period (2013-2014)
  • Third Compliance Period (2018-2020)
Allowance Definition:

An allowance is a tradable permit that allows the emissions of one metric ton of Carbon Dioxide (MTCO2e).

Emissions Cap:

Ontario has set an initial cap of 143,332,000 tonnes of GHG emissions for 2017. This cap is set on the best estimates of emissions and declines annually to support the province’s GHG emission targets of 15% below 1990 levels by 2020, 37% below 1990 by 2030 and 80% below 1990 by 2050.

Distribution of Allowances:

In order to ease the transition towards a low carbon economy and minimize the risk of leakages, large emitters will be given set quotas of allowances free of charge. During the program’s first compliance period (2017-2020) most large polluting emitters will be given free allowances covering the majority of their emissions with allocations declining each year.

For more information on the methodology for distributing free allowances and to apply for free allowances in 2018, please see:

Methodology for the Distribution of Ontario Emission Allowances Free of Charge

MOECC: Emission Allowances

Allowances can be purchased at one of the quarterly auctions, or on the secondary market. In order to participate in the auction, one must be registered and approved in the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS).

Auction notices are published one month prior to the auction and contain information regarding the number of allowances offered for sale. The Ontario Auction Reserve Price is the minimum price at which allowances will be offered for sale. This is determined as the higher of the most recently published California and Québec Annual Auction Reserve Price after applying the exchange rate established for the auction. The results of the auction will be published 2 weeks after the auction is held.

All information including auction notices and results can be found at:

MOECC: Auction of Allowances

Allowances may also be purchased on the secondary market in two ways:

  • Two registered parties can directly negotiate and buy allowancesfrom one another.
  • Registered parties can also buy Ontario Carbon Allowances (OCAs) through a futures contract brought and sold on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

For more information about Ontario Carbon Allowance Futures please see ICE: OCA 2017 Future

In order to spur innovations and emission reductions in un capped sectors of Ontario’s economy, the province has approved the use of Carbon Offsets as compliance instruments under the cap-and-trade program. Companies and facilities are able to purchase and surrender offset credits to help meet part of their emission requirements.

In order to be eligible for an offset credit, a project must:

  • Reduce or remove one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Meet the rules to be set out in the regulation, including the protocols.
  • Not claim reductions of emissions that are already covered by the cap-and-trade

In partnership with the Climate Action Reserve and the Ministry of Quebec Ontario are in the process of adapting 13 existing offset protocols (from existing regulated and voluntary offset markets) for use in Ontario and Quebec.

Three protocols (namely Landfill Gas Capture and Destruction; Mine Methane Capture and Destruction; Ozone Depleting Substances Capture and Destruction) will be in place by early 2017, with the remainder in place by 2017-18.

For more information on Ontario protocols, please visit:

CAR: Adapting Offset Protocols for Ontario, Québec and Other Jurisdictions