Canada and Nova Scotia working toward equivalency agreement on coal-fired electricity GHG regulations
By Anthony Capkun
March 19, 2012 – Nova Scotia environment minister Sterling Belliveau, and federal environment minister Peter Kent, today announced they are working toward an equivalency agreement on coal-fired electricity greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations.
“Our regulations were developed after significant research and input from Nova Scotians, and they will achieve the same greenhouse gas emissions reductions as the federal approach, while recognizing what’s best for our province,” said Belliveau.
“More than two years ago, our governments signed an agreement in principle on efforts to address climate change,” said Kent. “We remain focused on our mutual goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but we believe in ensuring the Province of Nova Scotia has the flexibility to choose an approach that best suits them.”
Nova Scotia says it is the first province to put in place hard caps on GHG emissions for electricity providers. This regulation requires a reduction of 25% in GHG emissions in the electricity sector by 2020, which will be extended to 2030 to match the federal regulations.
The governments want to avoid duplicating efforts to control GHG emissions, and are working to ensure industry does not face two sets of regulations. An equivalency agreement would favour a provincial regulation, as long as it achieves an equivalent environmental result.
Last August, the federal government proposed regulations for the electricity sector that will apply a stringent performance standard to new coal-fired electricity generation units and those that have reached the end of their economic life. Final regulations are expected to be published soon, which will allow the equivalency agreement to be finalized.