Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice said he will make an announcement aiming to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from coal-powered energy facilities within days.
“We’ll be moving forward to deal with emissions from coal facilities, which is our second-largest source of emissions,” Prentice told reporters today in Ottawa, adding the government will deal with the issue through regulation. “We’ll be dealing with this in the days ahead.”
Canada’s coal plants, which produce 13 percent of the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions and about 19 percent of its electricity, are “outdated and dirty,” Prentice said in a speech. Thirty-three of the country’s 51 coal-burning units will reach the end of their economic life by 2025, giving the country the “opportunity to make the right choices,” he said.
The regulations will be part of Canada’s response to the Copenhagen accord on greenhouse-gas emissions. Prentice announced new rules for truck emissions last month and harmonized the country’s automobile regulations with those of the U.S. in April.
Because Canada relies less on coal for electricity than the U.S. and its plants will need to be replaced sooner, Canada will set its own rules instead of harmonizing with those of its southern neighbor, Prentice said.
Prentice earlier told utility executives they won’t be allowed to refurbish the coal-fired facilities unless their emissions are captured and stored, the Globe and Mail reported in April.