Statement - Minister Aglukkaq responds to proposed U.S. carbon regulations for the electricity sector

GATINEAU, QC, June 2, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, today issued the following statement on the announcement by the United States of proposed greenhouse gas regulations on their electricity sector.

"We congratulate the Obama administration on proposing steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Our Government has already taken steps to regulate the electricity sector in 2012, and we are pleased that there will now be pan-continental regulations for this sector. The proposed U.S. rules will help contribute to a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in this sector over 2005 levels by 2030. Environment Canada estimates, in Canada, strict regulations on coal-fired electricity will help contribute to reductions of 46 per cent in this sector over 2005 levels by 2030. The Canadian rules on new units are in effect. The U.S. rules have not yet been finalized.

"Canada represents less than two per cent of overall global greenhouse gas emissions. By contrast, the United States produces about 16 per cent of overall greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the coal-fired electricity energy generation in the United States produces twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the entire Canadian economy. It is important for major emitters to do their part, and we call upon other major emitters to do likewise.

"In the first 21 years, Canada's coal regulations are expected to result in a cumulative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing some 2.6 million personal vehicles per year from the road. As a result of our regulations, Canada became the first major coal user to ban the construction of traditional coal-fired electricity generation units. These regulations further cement Canada's place as a clean energy super power as we boast the cleanest electricity system in the G-7 and one of the cleanest in the world, with 77 per cent of our electricity supply emitting no greenhouse gases. In contrast, only one-third of the electricity supply in the United States is from non-emitting sources.

"Thanks in part to our actions, Canada's 2020 greenhouse gas emissions are projected to be about 130 Mt lower relative to a scenario with no action. Furthermore, Canada's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are now at their lowest level since tracking began in 1990 all while the economy has grown.

"Building on our record, our Government would like to work in concert with the United States on reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the oil and gas sector. The integration of our economies suggests our countries should be taking action together, not alone. This is consistent with our successful approach to align with the United States on emissions regulations for the transportation sector. In fact, an integrated approach in this sector means 2025 passenger vehicles and light trucks will emit about half as many greenhouse gases as 2008 models."

SOURCE: Environment Canada

For further information:

Ted Laking
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment

Media Relations
Environment Canada


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