NEWS RELEASE · 23rd June 2010
Marlo Raynolds, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to today's announcement by Environment Minister Jim Prentice of future federal regulations for greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity:
“Minister Prentice’s commitment in principle to put an end to conventional coal-fired electricity is very welcome. A continued reliance on conventional coal would make achieving adequate greenhouse gas reductions in Canada virtually impossible.
“A lot of things can change between an announcement of intent and having actual regulations come in force, especially when governments face off against powerful industry interests. There are key details of today’s proposal that need to be strengthened. We look forward to working with Minister Prentice to make sure that these regulations will result in the rapid elimination of greenhouse gas pollution from coal in Canada.
“When it comes to cleaning up our electricity system, the other side of the coin is a massive scale-up in government support for renewable energy, along with energy conservation and efficiency. Unfortunately, we have seen federal support for those priorities end in recent budgets, in stark contrast to President Obama’s approach.
“Today’s announcement has the potential to become a strong step forward on domestic climate policy. But Canada still needs a plan to meet — or beat — its 2020 emissions target, with an economy-wide price on greenhouse gas pollution as the centrepiece. That plan must not only clean up Canada’s electricity sector but also reduce emissions from all other parts of the economy, including the fast-growing oil sands sector. Without government action, the oil sands sector is projected to account for 12 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas pollution by 2020 – the same as the pollution from electricity generation utilities.”