Canada Aims to Fully Phase Out Coal Power by 2030
Country will work with the four provinces that still burn coal to reach its goal
Canada plans to completely phase out traditional coal power by 2030 and will work with the country’s four remaining provinces that still burn the fossil fuel to reach the overall goal, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Monday.
The move is the latest measure Canada is taking to meet greenhouse-gas reduction targets by 2030, and follows the earlier introduction of a nationwide carbon levy that starts in 2018. The new plan also comes amid a pledge by President-elect Donald Trump to revive the U.S. coal industry’s fortunes.
Ms. McKenna, just back from a United Nations-sponsored climate-change conference in Morocco, said coal power in Canada currently represents close to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from four provinces—Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Provinces will have the option to choose between phasing out coal entirely and replacing it with lower emitting sources, or using carbon capture and storage technology, the minister said.
Data indicate the western Canadian province of Alberta is by far the biggest user of coal as a source of electricity generation, and is home to five of the six biggest coal-fueled power plants in Canada. The province’s left-leaning government has already signaled its intent to phase out coal-fired generation, also by 2030. Canada’s largest province, Ontario, phased out coal-fired electricity in 2014.
In Canada, provincial governments have jurisdiction over the generation and transmission of electricity.
Canada is the world’s 12th-largest coal producer, according to government data, and roughly three-quarters of the coal it imports originates in the U.S.