Gov’t of Canada Announces Electricity System to be 90% Emissions Free by 2030: New Standard Means Coal Phase-Out by 2030

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PRESS RELEASE

Government of Canada Announces Electricity System to be 90% Emissions Free by 2030:
New Standard Means Coal Phase-out by 2030

November 21, 2016

Fredericton – New Brunswick, along with Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Alberta will soon transform their electricity systems to non-emitting sources to comply with a federal regulation announced today by Catherine McKenna, the federal Environment and Climate Change Minister. The new regulation will require all provincial electricity systems to meet an emissions-intensity standard so low that traditional coal-fired electricity (units without carbon capture and storage) will be phased out by 2030. In addition, any electricity from natural gas will have to meet a stringent emissions intensity standard. Together, the two measures will move Canada toward a 90% emissions-free electricity system by 2030.

The Conservation Council welcomes today’s announcement, but believes Canada could have matched global leaders like the United Kingdom that are phasing coal out of their electricity systems by 2025. Phasing out all fossil-fuel generation from electricity is an important step along the way to solving climate change.

Burning coal to generate electricity affects our health through the release of acidic air pollutants, as well as carbon dioxide which is the main pollutant changing the climate and putting our communities and families at risk from extreme weather like post-tropical Storm Arthur. Electricity is responsible for 31 percent of New Brunswick’s greenhouse gases.

“New Brunswick has an exciting opportunity to transform our electricity system to one that is efficient and clean by making our homes and businesses more efficient and expanding the use of clean sources of power from hydro, wind, solar, biomass and tidal. With financial support from the federal Government and using carbon pricing revenue we can manage the transition at the least cost,” says Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions.

“Transforming our electricity system will make our economy more productive and create jobs. We look forward to working with the province and NB Power to ensure that the transition is smooth, for workers and ratepayers.”

For more information, contact: Louise Comeau, louise.comeau@conservationcouncil.ca; 506 238 0355