Canadian Government Speeds Up Transition from Coal

Regulatory actions announced Nov. 21 will put Canada on a path to move from 80 percent toward 90 percent non-emitting sources by 2030, using clean electricity to power cars, businesses, and homes across the country.

The Canadian government on Nov. 21 announced more investments in clean electricity as it seeks to speed up the transition from coal-burning technologies. Catherine McKenna, minister of Environment and Climate Change, has outlined a vision for moving from traditional coal power to clean energy by 2030 because traditional coal-fired electricity does not use carbon capture and storage to trap and store carbon dioxide.

Accelerating the phase-out of coal power will significantly improve the air quality and the health of Canadians, cutting Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by more than five megatonnes in 2030 -- equal to taking 1.3 million cars off the road, she said.

The government will support the transition by using the Canada Infrastructure Bank to finance projects such as commercially viable clean energy and modern electricity systems between provinces and territories. Regulatory actions announced Nov. 21 will put Canada on a path to move from 80 percent toward 90 percent non-emitting sources by 2030, using clean electricity to power cars, businesses, and homes across the country.

"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. It sends a clear signal to the world that Canada is a great place to invest in clean energy," said McKenna.

Health Minister Jane Philpott agreed, saying that "phasing out coal-fired electricity will translate into cleaner, more breathable air for Canadians and lower rates of respiratory illness. Today's announcement is a significant step in our plan to build a healthier, more prosperous Canada."

The government reports that coal-fired electricity is responsible for close to three-quarters of the GHG emissions from Canada's electricity sector and more than 8 percent of Canada's total GHG emissions.

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