The David Suzuki Foundation comments on Clean Electricity Regulations update

MONTREAL | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE KANIEN’KEHÁ:KA FIRST NATION — Proposed changes to Canada’s Clean Electricity Regulations threaten to delay this cornerstone climate policy. Decision-makers must reject changes to the design of the proposed regulation that would add emissions to the grid, the David Suzuki Foundation says.

The David Suzuki Foundation is concerned that additional “flexibilities” under consideration could amount to loopholes for fossil fuel electricity, allowing more fossil fuels plants to be added to Canada’s grids in the near term.

The David Suzuki Foundation’s research from 2022, “Shifting Power,” demonstrates it is possible to achieve an affordable, reliable, zero-emissions electricity system by 2035. The Foundation has long advocated for strong Clean Electricity Regulations, and its campaign “Renewable Power for All” is backed by tens of thousands of supporters in Canada.

The David Suzuki Foundation is calling for the Clean Electricity Regulations to be strengthened and finalized by the summer.

Stephen Thomas, Clean Energy Manager, David Suzuki Foundation, said:

“Strong Clean Electricity Regulations are an essential tool to make our energy cheaper, more reliable and better for the environment while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why we support efforts to move to a zero-emissions electricity system throughout Canada by 2035.

“However, we are concerned that the changes being considered to this cornerstone climate regulation could make it harder to deliver a zero-emissions grid. Adding more loopholes would needlessly allow fossil fuel generators to continue polluting until 2045 or beyond and could allow for new fossil fuel plants to be built, undermining the necessary transition to clean electricity.

“Our research shows that a zero-emissions grid is possible by 2035, while making energy more affordable and offering significant health benefits to people living in Canada. The sooner we get to this goal, the sooner we’ll see these benefits.

“We need to see these regulations strengthened and finalized by this summer. The clock is ticking to lock in the benefits of clean electricity, and we have no time to waste. Further delays risk policy uncertainty, stranded assets and loss of investor confidence as provinces, regulators and utilities prepare to upgrade and transition Canada’s electricity system by 2035.

“The most affordable and reliable energy sources to meet Canada’s growing electricity needs are wind, solar and battery storage. Meanwhile, the high cost of fossil fuels remains a key driver of inflation and energy cost increases in Canada.

“The wildfires, floods and droughts we’re seeing throughout Canada in the past year are unprecedented in their costs to our people, land and economy. They are an urgent reminder that we need to accelerate our move away from fossil fuels —not delay it once again.”

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Specifically, the David Suzuki Foundation has these key concerns regarding today’s update to the Clean Electricity Regulations:

  • New fossil gas on the grid: One of the proposed changes would extend a temporary exemption for new fossil fuel plants built after 2025, when the regulation goes into effect. This would be designed to allow new fossil gas plants to emit freely until 2045 or beyond.
  • Getting to net zero: Today’s update lacks detail on how the new proposals would affect the overall stringency of the regulation. Proposals that allow more emissions to be added to the grid should be rejected. Instead, government should look to strengthen the overall stringency of the final regulation.
  • Timing of the final regulation: The additional comment period announced today must not be used as a pretext to further delay the final regulations. The Foundation calls for Environment and Climate Change Canada to publish these regulations by summer 2024. Further delays risk policy uncertainty, stranded assets and loss of investor confidence as provinces, regulators and utilities prepare to upgrade and transition Canada’s electricity system by 2035.
  • More extensions head in the wrong direction: Additional extensions — which would allow some fossil fuel generators to pollute freely until after 2045 — are being considered. These extensions are not necessary and add emissions to the electricity sector while delaying clean electricity benefits.
  • Real emission reductions are better than offsets: This update opens the door for fossil fuel generators to purchase carbon offset credits instead of reducing real on-site emissions. This is a mistake that may keep fossil fuels on the grid, and miss out on the affordability, health and jobs benefits of moving away from fossil fuels and toward clean electricity.


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Melanie Karalis,, 548-588-1279

The David Suzuki Foundation ( | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including First Nations leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future.