VANCOUVER | UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) TERRITORIES (July 17, 2023) — Today, 60 organizations are calling on the federal government to release the long-promised clean electricity regulations.
With recent attempts by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and others to delay the regulations, the David Suzuki Foundation and dozens of environmental, health and labour organizations are calling for the release of the regulations as soon as possible.
The open letter was delivered to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.
The federal clean electricity regulations are they key policy that will move Canada to an affordable, secure, zero-emissions electricity grid by the year 2035.
The policy is popular, with an overwhelming majority (71 per cent) of Canadians saying in June 2023 that they support the proposed regulations.
The regulations have been promised since 2021 and were expected to be published in December 2022.
Stephen Thomas, clean energy manager, David Suzuki Foundation, said:
“We are very supportive of your government’s commitment to deliver a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2035. But we fear that this goal will become increasingly difficult to achieve if the draft regulations are not introduced soon and finalized by the end of 2023.
”Many provinces are in the process of adding new fossil generation to their electricity grids, at cross purposes with the federal commitment and likely at significant cost to ratepayers and taxpayers.
“As our country burns, we can’t afford to wait to make the shift to a clean electricity grid. Communities will feel the benefits through hundreds of thousands of jobs, improved air quality, supported Indigenous clean energy leadership and more affordable energy for all.”
Brenna Walsh, senior energy coordinator, Ecology Action Centre, said:
“The clean electricity regulations will be key to support the transition from coal and other fossil fuels on our grids in Atlantic Canada. Strong regulations with no loopholes will help stop proposals like replacing coal capacity with equally polluting bunker fuel oil — a current proposal in Nova Scotia. We need these regulations in place now to ensure we get to 100 per cent clean electricity by 2035.”
Joe Vipond, emergency physician and past-president with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, said:
“The climate crisis is rapidly escalating, as evidenced by our spring and summer weather in Canada and around the world. For Canada to play its part in achieving a safe, healthy world, it is essential that we set a strong plan with the clean electricity regulations. Fewer carbon emissions also mean less air pollution, creating a healthy win-win for all Canadians.”
Lana Goldberg, Ontario climate program manager with Environmental Defence, said:
“The electricity sector has the most weight to pull if we’re going to successfully meet the goals outlined in Canada’s Emission Reduction Plan. To hold the sector accountable, the clean electricity regulations need to be strong and be implemented as soon as possible, providing the right signal to businesses and provinces. If the regulations aren’t strong enough or are further delayed, Canada will fail to meet its 2030 emissions reductions targets. We have no time to waste.”
Robert Trembly, board co-chair, Calgary Climate Hub:
“Alberta’s polluting electricity grid drives 37 per cent of Calgary’s carbon footprint. Cleaning up our electricity system before 2035 is absolutely essential to meeting our commitment to economy-wide net-zero by 2050.
“The vast majority of Calgarians and Albertans recognize this. We need the clean electricity regulations finalized as soon as possible to give businesses the certainty they need to proceed with investments in Albertan clean electricity.”
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The David Suzuki Foundation (DavidSuzuki.org | @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.