Toronto – In the lead up to the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties in Paris, France, the province of Ontario has passed legislation to permanently ban coal-fired electricity generation in the province — a first in North America and a significant step in the fight against climate change.
The Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act prevents new and existing facilities from burning coal for the sole purpose of generating electricity. It sets maximum fines for anyone who violates the ban and enshrines the health and environmental benefits of making coal-fired electricity illegal in law.
Last year, Ontario closed its last coal-fired power plant. The closure has eliminated more than 30 megatonnes of annual GHG emissions, equivalent to taking seven-million vehicles off our roads. Closing coal-fired power plants represents one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in North America. Closing coal has helped reduce the number of smog days in Ontario from 53 in 2005 to zero in 2015.