The federal government has adopted a sectoral approach to the reduction of GHGs. Consistent with that approach, on August 27, 2011, the federal government published the proposed Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-Fired Generation of Electricity Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part 1.

The proposed Regulations made under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 establish a CO2 emissions intensity standard of 375 tonnes of CO2 emissions per GWh of electricity production. The proposed standard will come into effect on July 1, 2015 and will apply to new generating plants and those that have reached the end of their useful life but still continue to produce electricity. “New units” are generally defined as those that start producing electricity commercially on or after July 1, 2015. A unit is considered to have reached the end of its useful life on the later of 45 years from the commissioning date for the unit or the end of the power purchase agreement applicable to the unit. The performance standard does not apply to existing units that were operating before July 1, 2015 but have not yet reached the end of their useful life.

The proposed Regulations contain provisions for extension of the compliance date in some cases, such as a commitment to incorporate carbon capture and storage, and for transferring the compliance obligation between units. Although the emissions standard does not come into effect until July 1, 2015, other aspects of the Regulations including the registration and reporting requirements, come into effect on January 1, 2013.