February 26, 2007

Ontario energy stats show 29% drop in GHG emissions from coal-fired power plants

TORONTO, ONT-Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Ontario's remaining coal-fired generation stations have dropped by 29% per cent since 2003 and are now below 1990 levels, according to 2006 figures released by Energy Minister Dwight Duncan. "Ontario's reduction in emissions has been the most significant in a generation," he said. Over the past three years, government statistics show that generation from coal plants has fallen 32%, representing a reduction in GHG emissions equivalent to the emissions from more than two million cars. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from remaining coal plants decreased by 29% between 2003 and 2006. Emissions from Ontario's coal-fired power plants are now slightly below 1990 levels. Acid rain and smog-causing emission rates last year from sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) were the lowest since 1983, when Ontario began recording this information. SO2 emissions have been reduced by 44% since 2003, while NOx emissions have declined 46% during the same period. Coal now accounts for 16% of Ontario's overall energy mix (down from 25% in 2003) as conservation, nuclear power and renewable energy increasingly contribute to the province's total supply. "Replacing coal will help Ontario reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 megatonnes--the largest climate change initiative in Canada," said Environment Minister Laurel Broten.

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