Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Canada regulations coal power



Two climate scientists from the University of Victoria in Canada, Andrew Weaver and Neil Swart, identified coal burning power plants as a major contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions that are trapping heat in the atmosphere. Environment Canada department notes that two-thirds of coal power plants, would near the end of their economic life by 2025. Mike Beale, an assistant deputy minister at Environment Canada, says, "Absent government regulations, industry may build new coal-fired units, which would increase the cost of future emissions reductions and lead to stranded generation assets."

Last year Canada had introduced draft regulations to crack down on pollution from coal plants, but these regulations span a time period of 15 years, and only require newer coal power plants to match lower greenhouse gas emissions of power plants that run on natural gas. If a new coal-burning plant were to be constructed and begin operating before 2015, the regulations would not apply until the end of the life of that plant. Meanwhile there is little regulation on Canada's booming oil and gas sector. And Canada remains the leading exporter of raw coal at 28 million tonnes of coal, which goes to the coal power plants of 20 other countries. This kind of defeats the battle against greenhouse gas emissions, which are a global problem and not local to Canada.

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