The federal government announced on Monday that they are accelerating the phase-out of coal power in four provinces and moving towards eliminating its use by 2030.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the move is an important part of the country’s vision for a clean-growth economy.
“Taking traditional coal power out of our energy mix and replacing it with cleaner technologies will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of Canadians, and benefit generations for years to come,” said McKenna. “It sends a clear signal to the world that Canada is a great place to invest in clean energy.”
Past research has shown that traditional coal power in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia has accounted for 10 per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
Ottawa’s initiative gives the provinces the option of phasing out coal-fired electricity all together or use carbon capture and storage technology which traps carbon dioxide.
In all, the regulatory actions should put Canada on a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than five megatonnes in 2030 — the equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road.
Alberta is on course with Ottawa’s deadline, announcing that it will completely phase out its coal programs by 2030.
Nova Scotia, which already has an agreement with Ottawa on several greenhouse gas reduction initiatives, is getting an extension beyond the 2030 deadline due to significant reductions in other environmental sectors.
New Brunswick is still looking over a committee report recommending the 2030 shut down of its Belledune generating station.
But it’s Saskatchewan that appears not to be on the same page as Ottawa. Premier Brad Wall spoke up soon after McKenna’s announcement, claiming that there was to be a discussion on coal during the first ministers’ meeting in December. Wall is accusing the Liberals of not working with the provinces.
“The federal government has now violated that commitment for a second time by making its second major policy announcement in advance of the first ministers’ meeting in December – the announcement last month of a national carbon tax and now today’s announcement of an accelerated phase out of coal-fired electrical generation,” Wall said in the statement.
Asia ramping up coal use. US returning to coal. Lets focus on tech like CCS not tax harming econ w/o real GHG impact pic.twitter.com/FfRLWkkj01
— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) November 17, 2016