Leading Canadian organizations are concerned that the proposed regulations, if not strengthened, will deliver only a 3 per cent improvement towards meeting Canada’s 2020 emissions target, and according to Environment Canada will have a “negligible impact” on non-polluting electricity generation.
Ottawa (27 October 2011) - Over 5,000 letters demanding stricter greenhouse gas regulations for coal power in Canada were submitted during the public consultation period on federal coal regulations.
Climate Action Network Canada, of which the National Union is a member, believes that if incorporated into the proposed regulations, measures proposed in member submissions could insure that these regulations have a meaningful impact on Canada’s path towards a safer, more sustainable future.
Concerns about the proposed regulations include a loophole that would allow for the construction of a new coal plant by Maxim Power Corp. that would not be subject to federal regulations until 2060. These regulations would also allow coal power continue to play a role in Canada’s electricity mix until the middle of the century, a timeline that is inconsistent with the global need for emissions to peak between 2015 and 2020.
“New dirty coal is unacceptable today, not after 2025,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “These regulations do very little to cut emissions, and keep coal powering electricity for the next 45 years.”
“If amended, these regulations have the potential to get us off coal and cut one tenth of Canada’s emissions,” said Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada. “Ontario phased out coal in under ten years - if they can do it, the rest of Canada can.”
“Coal powered England in the 1800s. It has no place in today’s more enlightened world,” said Dale Marshall, Climate Change Policy Analyst, David Suzuki Foundation. “It’s time to move beyond coal. Canada can lead the world, but these regulations fall far short of what’s needed.”
Proposed federal coal regulations. Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-Fired Generation of Electricity Regulations, were released on August 26, 2011 and subject to a 60-day comment period.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE