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Welcome to the Strategic Assessment of Climate Change website

The Government of Canada put in place better rules for major projects, to protect the environment and communities, advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and ensure good projects can go forward, creating good jobs and economic opportunities for middle-class Canadians.

As part of these better rules, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) developed the strategic assessment of climate change (SACC).

The SACC will enable consistent, predictable, efficient and transparent consideration of climate change throughout the impact assessment process. It describes the greenhouse gas and climate change information that project proponents need to submit at each phase of a federal impact assessment and requires proponents of projects with a lifetime beyond 2050 to provide a credible plan that describes how the project will achieve net- zero emissions by 2050. It also explains how the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada or lifecycle regulators, with support from expert federal authorities, will review, comment on and complement the climate change information provided by proponents.

The SACC was deemed a strategic assessment conducted under section 95 of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA). It applies to designated projects under the IAA. The principles and objectives underlying the SACC will be built into guidance for the review of non-designated projects on federal lands and outside Canada under the IAA. Guidance for projects regulated by the Canada Energy Regulator will similarly consider the principles and objectives of the SACC.

The SACC may also apply to environmental reviews by other federal lifecycle regulators, and be used in regional assessments.

ECCC plans to review and update the SACC every 5 years.

An HTML version of the strategic assessment of climate change — Revised October 2020 is available here.


Technical Guides Related to the SACC

Guidance on quantification of net GHG emissions, impact on carbon sinks, mitigation measures, net-zero plan and upstream GHG assessment

In August 2021, ECCC published the draft Technical Guide Related to the SACC: Guidance on quantification of net GHG emissions, impact on carbon sinks, mitigation measures, net-zero plan and upstream GHG assessment for public consultation. This technical guide provides additional details on specific elements of the SACC, including:

  • A description of how a project’s GHG emissions are to be estimated throughout the impact assessment process, including upstream emissions and impact on carbon sinks, where applicable;
  • A description of the Best Available Technologies / Best Environmental Practices Determination process that all projects are required to complete in the Impact Assessment process; and
  • A description of the information required in the net-zero plan for projects with a lifetime beyond 2050.

An HTML version of the draft Technical Guide is available here.

Stakeholders and Indigenous peoples have until October 25, 2021 to provide comments on the draft technical guide. Comments received during the comment period will be considered during the development of the final version of the technical guide, which is expected to be released in early 2022.


Assessing climate change resilience

A second draft technical guide on climate change resilience is anticipated to be published for comments in late 2021.


To learn how we will protect your privacy during this consultation, read our privacy statement.

Welcome to the Strategic Assessment of Climate Change website

The Government of Canada put in place better rules for major projects, to protect the environment and communities, advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and ensure good projects can go forward, creating good jobs and economic opportunities for middle-class Canadians.

As part of these better rules, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) developed the strategic assessment of climate change (SACC).

The SACC will enable consistent, predictable, efficient and transparent consideration of climate change throughout the impact assessment process. It describes the greenhouse gas and climate change information that project proponents need to submit at each phase of a federal impact assessment and requires proponents of projects with a lifetime beyond 2050 to provide a credible plan that describes how the project will achieve net- zero emissions by 2050. It also explains how the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada or lifecycle regulators, with support from expert federal authorities, will review, comment on and complement the climate change information provided by proponents.

The SACC was deemed a strategic assessment conducted under section 95 of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA). It applies to designated projects under the IAA. The principles and objectives underlying the SACC will be built into guidance for the review of non-designated projects on federal lands and outside Canada under the IAA. Guidance for projects regulated by the Canada Energy Regulator will similarly consider the principles and objectives of the SACC.

The SACC may also apply to environmental reviews by other federal lifecycle regulators, and be used in regional assessments.

ECCC plans to review and update the SACC every 5 years.

An HTML version of the strategic assessment of climate change — Revised October 2020 is available here.


Technical Guides Related to the SACC

Guidance on quantification of net GHG emissions, impact on carbon sinks, mitigation measures, net-zero plan and upstream GHG assessment

In August 2021, ECCC published the draft Technical Guide Related to the SACC: Guidance on quantification of net GHG emissions, impact on carbon sinks, mitigation measures, net-zero plan and upstream GHG assessment for public consultation. This technical guide provides additional details on specific elements of the SACC, including:

  • A description of how a project’s GHG emissions are to be estimated throughout the impact assessment process, including upstream emissions and impact on carbon sinks, where applicable;
  • A description of the Best Available Technologies / Best Environmental Practices Determination process that all projects are required to complete in the Impact Assessment process; and
  • A description of the information required in the net-zero plan for projects with a lifetime beyond 2050.

An HTML version of the draft Technical Guide is available here.

Stakeholders and Indigenous peoples have until October 25, 2021 to provide comments on the draft technical guide. Comments received during the comment period will be considered during the development of the final version of the technical guide, which is expected to be released in early 2022.


Assessing climate change resilience

A second draft technical guide on climate change resilience is anticipated to be published for comments in late 2021.


To learn how we will protect your privacy during this consultation, read our privacy statement.

Page last updated: 11 August 2021, 11:48