Climate Change Services

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Emerging regulatory patchwork requires specialized guidance

Heightened public concern and international pressure make climate change one of the most significant sustainability issues facing Canada today. The federal government’s regulatory framework targets large greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters, and these pending regulations will create significant compliance and financial risks for these companies.

In 2008, the federal government published details on its Turning the Corner regulatory framework that outlines the government’s commitment to reduce Canada’s absolute GHG emissions by 20% from 2006 levels by 2020. New details in 2011 specify how the targets will apply to each industry sector, how the offsets and trading systems will work and how credit will be provided to those companies that took early action to reduce their GHG emissions.

While waiting for the federal government’s regulations to emerge, several provinces have established their own approaches, from climate change regulations based on a “baseline and trade” system in Alberta to a carbon tax in Québec. Additionally, other provinces are entering into agreements with cross-border approaches to limit greenhouse gas emissions. When the federal regulations are finalized, they will be complicated by an equivalency clause that will allow some of the provincial systems to coexist with the new federal system. This patchwork approach promises to remain complicated enough to require specialized guidance.

How we can help

PwC’s Climate Change Services practice is monitoring developments at both the provincial and national levels and our wealth of industry-specific experience is invaluable when considering how these regulations will be applied.

We can help you manage the impact of these regulatory requirements by assessing your company’s risks and opportunities, and developing an effective short- and long-term plan for managing environmental regulatory compliance.

Our climate change advisory services include:

  • Carbon management and climate change strategy development. We can assist your company in evaluating the benefits and risks associated with climate change strategic options.
  • GHG data management system assessments. We can assist your company by evaluating your GHG data management systems, identifying areas of strength and areas of weakness, and providing recommendations for improvement in the controls.

Our climate change assurance services include:

  • Third-party verification of voluntary and regulatory organizational and facility-level emission reports.
  • Third-party verification of greenhouse gas offsets and reduction projects.

PwC is an accredited verification body to the requirements of the ISO 14065 standard, Our accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) means we meet the highest standards for delivering independent third-party assurance on the reduction and removal of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is important that regulators, investors and those that rely upon a GHG report know the assurance provider is competent, has systems in place to manage impartiality and is able to provide the required level of assurance on a consistent basis.

As a chartered accountancy for over 100 years, PwC Canada understands the importance of impartiality in carrying out all its assurance activities, including greenhouse gas emissions and project verification. We have an internal system of processes that meets current global standards for organizations offering assurance services and are in good standing with the relevant Canadian regulators and professional bodies. We manage all real or potential conflicts of interest to ensure our objectivity and the credibility of our work.

Complaints and Appeals

PwC has a formal procedure for processing appeals and complaints pertaining to our accredited certification and verification programs. The process can be initiated in writing to the Practice Leader Bruce McIntyre, or by contacting the PwC Canada Complaints and Business Conduct Hotline at 1-877-814-5833. All appeals and complaints will be acknowledged in writing along with providing a description of the complaints and appeals process. All enquiries will be handled in accordance with PwC confidentiality policies.

Contact a professional in your area to learn more about what we can do for you.