The Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation (TIER) requires regulated facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implements an emissions trading system. The regulation applies emissions reduction requirements to facilities which emit more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, covering about 60% of Alberta's emissions. Facilities which emit less than the threshold may voluntarily opt-in to the regulation, including conventional oil and gas facilities. Voluntarily opting in may allow facilities to receive an exemption from Canada's federal carbon fuel charge.
Emissions reduction requirements are set using two benchmarking approaches: high-performance benchmarks that recognize and reward the most efficient facilities in an industry or facility-specific product benchmarks which set a reduction target relative to a facility's own historic performance. To meet the emissions reduction requirement, facilities can reduce their emissions or use emission performance credits, emission offsets or pay into a compliance fund (TIER fund). This ties-in to Alberta's Emission Offset System which enables compliance flexibility for facilities regulated under TIER. Regulated facilities must provide annual compliance reports and facilities that emit more than 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide must also provide a yearly emissions forecasting report.
The TIER regulation was amended in July 2020 to allow additional sectors to voluntarily opt-in to the regulation and reduce administrative burden for regulated conventional oil and gas facilities. By opting in, facilities may apply to become exempt from Canada's federal carbon fuel charge required under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA).
In October 2019, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) launched the Natural Gas Challenge, funded through the TIER fund. The Government of Alberta is providing $58 million through ERA with the goal of creating jobs and reducing emissions in the natural gas sector. Projects that received funding include one that utilizes artificial intelligence to locate and measure methane emissions and a project to develop renewable natural gas from biogas from agricultural facilities.
- Strategic plans
- Audits and inspections
- Performance-based payments
- Mandatory reporting
- Recordkeeping requirements
- Prescriptive requirements and standards
- Emission standards
- Public disclosure requirements
- Climate change strategies
- Consumer information
- Compliance requirements
- Company- or facility-level