Environment Canada

Environment Canada

June 23, 2010 09:15 ET

Government of Canada to Regulate Emissions From Electricity Sector

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 23, 2010) - Today, the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, announced that the Government of Canada is taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector by moving forward with regulations on coal-fired electricity generation.

"Today's announcement positions Canada one step closer to reaching its goal of being a clean energy superpower," said Minister Prentice. "A responsible, clear phase-out of the electricity sector's inefficient coal-fired generation will allow ample time for the implementation of cleaner generation technologies. This will create new jobs in the clean-energy sector, while helping Canada meets its commitment to greenhouse gas reductions."

Thirteen per cent of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions come from coal-fired electricity generation units. 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.

Canada's fleet of coal burning electricity plants consists of 51 units, with 33 coming to the end of their economic life by 2025. The gradual phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity generation is expected to have a significant impact on reducing emissions. This policy, coupled with the commitments of the provinces, and companies who have committed to coal closures, will reduce emissions by about 15 megatonnes (Mt). This is equivalent to taking about 3.2 million vehicles off our roads.

The Government of Canada is continuing to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a sector-by-sector basis. In the transportation sector, draft regulations have already been published mandating an average 5 per cent renewable fuel content in gasoline, as well as draft regulations that are harmonized with the Obama Administration to reduce GHGs from passenger vehicles. Canada and the United States will also work together to reduce emissions from trucks.

Draft regulations to reduce GHGs from the electricity sector are expected to be published in Canada Gazette early in 2011 and final regulations published later that year. This will allow sufficient time for consultations and outreach with industry and other stakeholders. Regulations are scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2015.

As inscribed in the Copenhagen Accord, Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020, a target which reflects the importance of harmonizing our overall approach with that of the United States.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

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