As we previously reported, the federal government intends to enact regulations to phase out coal fired generation in Canada. These regulations will require both new coal-fired power plants, and any existing plants reaching their 40-year lifespan, to be fitted with carbon capture and storage equipment.

Minister of Environment Peter Kent has now announced that the federal government and the government of Nova Scotia are working towards an equivalency agreement which would allow the Province to make its own rules to meet national targets.

Nova Scotia has already mandated a reduction of 25 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector by 2020. The agreement with the federal government would require new targets extending to 2030 to match reductions that would be required under the proposed federal regulations. The Nova Scotia equivalency plan is to be finalized this summer, after the release of the federal regulations. The equivalency plan will allow Nova Scotia to meet targets by giving it the flexibility to focus its efforts on renewable energy projects instead of the individual regulation of each coal-fired power plant. The plan is anticipated to save the province hundreds of millions of dollars which would have been associated with permanently closing two peaking coal-fired plants.

Co-authored by Laura Easton, Student at Law