Canada: New Regulations for the Coal-Fired Electricity SectorSep 18th, 2011 | By Michael Bittner | Category: Canada
From Environment Canada.
Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent announced in August that the Canadian government is moving forward with regulations for the coal-fired electricity sector.
“Our strategy to lower our emissions is based on making improvements sector by sector to sustain our economy and protect our environment,” said Minister Kent. “We are taking action in the electricity sector because we recognize the potential for significant emissions reductions. We are committed to build on our strength in the electricity sector and to lead the world in clean electricity generation.”
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
These proposed regulations will apply a stringent performance standard to new coal-fired electricity generation units and those coal-fired units that have reached the end of their economic life. This will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve air quality across Canada.
The gradual phaseout of traditional coal-fired electricity generation is expected to have a significant impact on reducing emissions. The proposed regulations, in addition to other measures taken by federal and provincial governments and utilities to reduce electricity emissions from coal and other sources, are projected to result in a decline in the absolute level of GHG emissions from electricity generation.
Schedule for New Regulations
The government first announced its intention to reduce GHG emissions in the electricity sector on June 23, 2010. Since then, consultations have been ongoing with key stakeholders to gather information that will inform development of the proposed regulations. These regulations were published in the Canada Gazette Part I on August 27, 2011 for a 60-day public consultation period. Final regulations are expected to be published in 2012, and the regulations are scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2015.
The government of Canada is working towards its target of reducing GHG emissions 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 through a sector-by-sector approach aligned with the United States.
More Information on Electricity Sector Air Emissions
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Electricity Sector [Backgrounder 2011-08-19]
Photograph: Power Plant by Eric Ortner, United States.