Thursday, September 1, 2011

Canada's Environment Minister Announces Further Reduction of Electricity Sector Emissions

Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent recently announced that the Government of Canada is moving forward with Regulations for the coal-fired electricity sector.

Fittingly, the announcement was made in Saskatchewan which generates nearly 60% of electricity from burning coal, making Saskatchewan one of the largest per capita emitters in the developed world.

The 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.

The gradual phase-out 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.

The Government first announced its intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector on June 23, 2010. Since then, consultations have been ongoing with key stakeholders to inform the development of the proposed Regulations. The regulations were published in the Canada Gazette Part I on August 27 for a 60-day public consultation period.

The draft regulations are available here:

Final Regulations are expected to be published in 2012, and regulations are scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2015.

The Government of Canada is making progress towards our ambitious target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 through a sector-by-sector approach aligned with the U.S.

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