OTTAWA — Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says there is no path to eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions without eliminating coal power but critics say Canada’s leadership is tainted as long as this country keeps exporting thermal coal.
Wilkinson is co-hosting a virtual summit today for the Powering Past Coal Alliance Canada created with the United Kingdom three years ago to lobby the world to eliminate coal as a source of energy.
Canada is forcing out any coal-fired power plants that aren’t equipped with carbon-capture technology by 2030 and Wilkinson told the alliance summit “there is simply no place for unabated coal” in a net-zero emissions world.
Only Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia still rely on coal for electricity.
But Julia Levin, the climate and energy program manager at Environmental Defence, says Canada’s exports of thermal coal to produce electricity elsewhere have to stop or Canada will simply be seen as a hypocrite selling a dirty fuel to others that it won’t use itself.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021.
Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press