On September 12, 2012, the federal government released the Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-fired Generation of Electricity Regulations (SOR/2012 - 167). Over time, these regulations will require certain Canadian coal-fired electricity generation units to meet an annual average emissions-intensity standard of 420 tonnes of carbon dioxide per gigawatt hour. This performance standard will apply to new units commissioned after July 1, 2015, and to certain units that are considered to have reached the end of their "useful life" (which the regulations determine is based primarily on the unit’s commissioning date). Operators of new and end-of-life units that incorporate technology for carbon capture and storage may apply for a temporary exemption from the performance standard that would remain in effect until 2025, provided that certain implementation milestones are met. The federal government has indicated that equivalency agreements with provinces, under which the Regulations would be replaced by the provincial regime, are being negotiated or discussed with Saskatchewan and Alberta, and a draft equivalency agreement has been developed with Nova Scotia.

For further information, please see Environment Canada’s backgrounder.