Canada to require carbon capture and storage by 2012

The government says new regulations would help it cut 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

The Canadian government has detailed new regulations that would force oil sands operations and coal-fired power plants to use carbon capture and storage starting in 2012.

The toughest rules would apply to new operations only, but emissions reductions will also be required at current facilities.

“Last April, this government made a commitment to Canadians to cut our greenhouse gas emissions an absolute 20 percent by 2020,” said Canada’s Environment Minister John Baird.

He said the new measures “will put us on a path to meet our commitments.”

When it was announced last year, the plan included establishing a market price for carbon and setting up a carbon emissions trading market.

The newly detailed regulations now set a target that the government said would, starting in 2012, effectively require oil sands to implement carbon capture and storage, and effectively ban the construction of new dirty coal plants.

“Our regulations will apply to all big industry,” said Baird.

“From the oil industry to chemical companies — from smelters to pulp and paper mills, all big industry will have to do their part.”

Baird said the new requirements would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands and electricity sectors by about 90 megatonnes, or 55 percent of the total expected reductions of 165 megatonnes from industry by 2020.

Specific reduction targets for operations starting in 2012 or later were not listed, but by 2010 regulated industries will need to reduce emissions by 18 percent for every facility.

The new rules are expected to be finalized in 2009 and go into effect on Jan. 1, 2010.

You can return to the main Market News page, or press the Back button on your browser.