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Proposed clean electricity regulations: is Canada staying in its lane?

Author(s): Paula Olexiuk, Jacob A. Sadikman, Deirdre A. Sheehan, Joey Chan, Laura Scott, Cole Tavener

Dec 11, 2023

In support of international efforts to limit climate change, the Government of Canada is endeavouring to achieve a net-zero emissions national economy by 2050. To achieve this goal, Canada has set an initial target of reducing economy-wide emissions to a level below 55%-60% of 2005 emissions by 2030. A critical component of Canada’s energy transition plan is the early development of additional low- or non-emitting electricity generation.

To mandate the development of low- or non-emitting electricity generation, in 2024 Canada plans to enact the Clean Electricity Regulations (CER), under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), with an effective date of January 1, 2025. Initially, the CER would only require subject electricity generation owners to register with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and submit annual emissions reports. However, beginning January 1, 2035, subject to available exemptions, the CER would effectively prohibit electricity generation that is not low- or non-emitting.

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