(Adds responses from provincial governments)
By Ethan Lou
TORONTO Nov 21 Canada will speed up plans to
virtually eliminate traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030,
the government said on Monday, a stance contrasting sharply with
that of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has pledged to
revive the sector.
Canada's Liberal government ran on a platform to do more for
the environment. Its coal-cutting plan would help it meet the
emissions reduction targets of the Paris agreement, which
Parliament ratified last month.
South of the border, the Republican Trump has vowed to ease
the regulatory burden on all fossil fuel producers, including
Globally, more than 2,400 coal power plants are under
construction or being planned, with two-thirds in China and
India, experts say.
Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said
Canada's coal regulation, which accelerates an existing
timetable, will take into account the positions of provinces,
some of which have resisted federal plans to counter climate
The government will support the transition by using the
Canada Infrastructure Bank public-private funding mechanism,
according to McKenna's department, which did not disclose
Four provinces still burn coal for electricity: Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Meeting the coal-cutting targets will be hard for some as
the transition may be costly, even with the federal government's
accommodation, said Joe Aldina, director for U.S. coal for PIRA
But certain industries will likely benefit as provinces look
for energy in new areas or further explore existing ones, he
"British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba have really
significant hydro resources," he said. "I'd expect a mix of
natural gas and renewables to benefit."
Under Canada's plan, some plants will be allowed to stay
open if equivalent emission reductions are achieved elsewhere,
"Our goal is to make Canada's electricity 90 percent
non-emitting by 2030." she said.
Provincial responses were mixed. New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia welcomed the announcement, with the latter's premier
announcing a separate cap-and-trade system to regulate
emissions, conforming with a federal plan on the matter.
Alberta's Climate Change Minister Shannon Phillips said the
province is unaffected as it already has a coal-cutting plan
with the same timeline.
Saskatchewan's Premier Brad Wall, who has long been
resistant to federal plans for a price on carbon, said McKenna's
government has violated a commitment to work with provinces on
"Saskatchewan will be evaluating both the environmental and
the economic impact on our province of today's federal
government announcement," he said.
(Reporting by Ethan Lou; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick