Atmosphere & Energy

Ottawa planning stricter coal emission standards

OTTAWA—The federal government is adopting tough new regulations aimed at cleaning up coal-fired electricity generation.

Thirteen per cent of Canada's total greenhouse-gas emissions come from coal-burning electricity-generation plants.

The proposed regulations will impose stringent performance standards on new coal-burning power plants, as well as older ones that are looking to extend their operating lives.

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“Environment Canada’s announcement is a joke. It would be funny if the situation weren’t so serious,” said John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada, in a statement issued after the Prentice announcement.

“Canada needs to commit to phasing out coal fired plants and replace them as Ontario has done,” Bennett said in the release. “Regulations for new coal plants are meaningless.”

Energy Solutions

The energy used to drive our economy has a huge impact on our atmosphere.

The drastic increase in fossil fuel combustion over the last century has led to a corresponding increase in air pollution, poisonous mercury emissions from coal plants, acid rain. In addition to these more obvious impacts, the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere has led to climate destabilization. In the prairie region this destabilization will likely lead to increased occurrences of drought and higher temperatures year-round.

Given these severe environmental and human health impacts it is imperative that we move toward sustainable energy production. Sierra Club of Canada advocates a sensible mix of solutions: reduced consumption combined with the highest possible energy efficiency, the deployment of renewables (wind, geothermal, biodiesel and solar), and a shift to the new, innovative technologies to move people and goods around.
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Green Jobs

More than 200,000 green jobs could easily be created in Alberta if the government made renewable energy a priority.... Read more »

Ottawa adds $400M to climate fund, begins phasing out coal

Seeking to burnish Canada’s environmental reputation before world leaders gather in Toronto, Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced on Wednesday a $400-million contribution to an international climate change fund and plans to phase out coal-burning electricity at home.

Mr. Prentice said the $400-million investment represents “Canada’s fair share” of a $10-billion (U.S.) per year fund to help poor countries combat climate change. The “fast start fund” was negotiated at the Copenhagen climate-change conference in December as a $30-billion, three-year effort that will grow in future years.

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Digby Quarry

On November 19, 2002, the Atlantic Canada Chapter of Sierra Club of Canada and the Partnership for the Sustainable Development of Digby Neck and Islands Society called on Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment and Labour, David Morse, to issue an immediate stop work order and revoke the permit for a massive basalt quarry on Digby Neck until a number of critical issues are addressed.

The quarry company, Nova Stone Exporters, has told its Community Liaison Committee it plans to build a 600 foot pier, to allow large ships to carry the crushed stone to the USA. This clearly indicates that their long-range plans call for a much larger quarry than the 3.9 hectares (approximately 10 acres) that have been approved.... Read more »

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