Canada on track for climate goal: report
Emissions-free power generation target achievable by 2030, Canada tells UN
Canada appears poised to rack up a climate-change win, says a recent government report submitted to the United Nations.
The federal report filed last month says Canada is on track to meet one of its crucial climate-change commitments — generating at least 90 per cent of non-industrial electricity from emissions-free sources by 2030.
“Yes, it’s good news,” said David Sawyer of the Smart Prosperity Institute, a University of Ottawa research and policy institute.
“It shows the provinces and federal government have been doing a lot and they’ve somehow managed to do more than we thought they could do.”
The report projects that by 2030 about 536 terawatts of electricity will come from hydro, nuclear and renewable generation. It predicts only 55 terawatts will be produced from fossil fuels.
That doesn’t include power generated by industry for its own use. About 44 per cent of that is expected to come from non-emitting sources, but the total amount generated is much smaller.
The assessment is based on policies already in place and at least partly implemented. If projections come to pass, it will mean releases from power utilities — one of Canada’s major emissions sources — will have declined by 80 per cent since 2005.
“We’ve knocked almost 100 megatonnes off our target,” Sawyer said. “It’s a very significant reduction since 2005.”
As late as last year, Canada was expected to reach 85 per cent emissions-free utility generation — another in a list of expected shortfalls in the country’s international commitments.
Sawyer attributes most of the extra cuts to better hydro connections between provinces and new federal rules that assign carbon costs to natural gas.