VANCOUVER — The federal government’s move to pass coal phase-out legislation into law and publish terms of reference for its “Just Transition Task Force” are strong and vital steps away from dirty energy production and toward a clean economy.
“The end of coal power will help usher in a new era for renewable energy,” said David Suzuki Foundation director of science and policy Ian Bruce. “With conventional coal-fired power officially headed for the history books, people across the country can literally breathe easier about the future of energy production.”
Canada now has the opportunity to shift its investments to clean power sources like wind and solar, which will help spur innovation and develop Canada’s clean tech sector, leading to jobs and economic growth.
“This is yet another signal that dirty, outdated energy sources are on their way out,” said the Foundation’s lead climate campaigner and senior policy analyst Gideon Forman. “Canada will now join a handful of leading industrialized countries such as the U.K., the Netherlands and France in accelerating the end of coal power worldwide – and the onset of clean, renewable energy.”
The new legislation will have a significant impact on reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan, which have the best solar and wind resources in the country. Regina, for instance, has more solar power potential than Sydney, Australia and almost as much as Mexico City.
“While these regulations are an important step toward Canada’s commitment to generate 90 per cent of its electricity from non-emitting sources by 2030, alone, they will not achieve that target,” Bruce said. “We still need to keep pushing forward with clean electricity requirements and Canada’s broader climate action plan.”
Coal power contributes 70 per cent of carbon emissions from Canada’s electricity sector. Ending its use by 2030 is projected to avoid more than 1,000 premature deaths and save more than $5 billion in health-care costs compared to previous regulations.
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For more information, please contact:
Brendan Glauser, David Suzuki Foundation, email@example.com, 604-356-8829
In summer 2016, the Foundation launched a national coal phase-out online campaign, with social media products that reached more than one million people in Canada. At an Ottawa news conference in November 2016, the Foundation – along with the Pembina Institute and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment – released a report showing how ending coal-fired power in Canada benefits health and saves lives. The Foundation’s end-of-coal petition received nearly 35,000 signatures and was delivered to Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson. Within hours, Minister McKenna announced that the federal government would follow through on ending conventional coal-fired electricity in Canada by 2030.