Canada Bans New Dirty Coal Plants After 2012

California, USA – Canada banned new dirty coal power plants beginning in 2012, and will force oil sands companies to capture and store carbon.

The government introduced the new rules Monday as a way to help the country meet its greenhouse gas emissions goals, AFP reported. Canada wants to reduce its emissions 20 percent by 2020.

“Our regulations will apply to all big industry,” Canada’s Environment Minister John Baird said. “From the oil industry to chemical companies; from smelters to pulp and paper mills, all big industry will have to do their part.”

Yet these particular rules target two sectors that generate a great deal of GHG emissions. The emissions from oil sands will likely grow as more companies focus their attention on mining the sands, which has historically been very expensive and energy intensive.

But Alberta’s oil sands represent the second largest oil reserve on earth after Saudi Arabia. Escalating oil prices and better extraction methods are making the oil sands more economically feasible. Output from oil sands could triple in the next decade, AFP reported.

Environmental groups contend the new rules don’t go far enough in fighting climate change, which a recent report suggests is already having an impact on every region in Canada. The report found the rate of warming in Canada has been more than 1.3C since 1948, which is about twice the global average.

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