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GEO-6 Regional Assessment for North America nnual  nd capacy megaas


informed by years of collaboration, including stakeholder outreach and public engagement. Rather than using subsidies, the plan sets targets for each state, but allows states to select how to achieve these targets, either within the state itself or in combination with other states. Thus, the plan itself encourages collaborative efforts between states to determine how to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. If the plan survives legal challenges and is successful, total power sector emissions will be reduced by 32 per cent compared to 2005 levels (Climate Central 2015; C2ES 2015) (See Section 3.2.2, Air).


Canada has also passed regulations to address emissions from power generation. The Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from


Coal-Fired Generation of Electricity


regulations was published in 2012 and came into force in 2015. The regulations are expected to result in a cumulative reduction of 214 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and CAD 4.2 billion in cumulative health benefits by 2035 (Environment Canada 2014). The Canadian standard is 420 tonnes of carbon dioxide per gigawatt-hour for new coal- fired units, which also apply to existing units once they


Figure 3.2.12: Impact of production tax credit expiration and extension on US annual installed wind capacity


10 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 14 0 0 0


8 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 2 0 0 0


0 P TC Etension P TC


Epiration  Etension


reach a defined period of operating life (generally 50 years). Comparatively, the US standard for new power plants is 454 tonnes per gigawatt-hour for natural gas-fired power plants and 635 tonnes per gigawatt-hour for coal-fired units.


The province of Alberta recently updated the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation. This regulation—which applies to large industrial emitters, including oil sand extraction companies—increased stringency in 2015 from 12 per cent emission reductions to 15 per cent by 2016 and 20 per cent by 2017. In addition, under the Climate Leadership Plan recently announced in Alberta, GHG emissions will be addressed in several ways. First, oil sands will transition to a CAD 30/ tonne carbon price and be subject to a legislated maximum emissions limit of 100 million metric tons per year. Second, a target has been set to decrease methane emissions by 45 per cent from oil and gas operations by 2025. Finally, coal-fired sources of electricity will be phased out completely by 2030.


 Epiration  Etension


North American policies are evolving providing more certainty to renewable energy industries, but continue to subsidize fossil fuels. Some states have regulated public action against fracking while others have made efforts to ban fracking. Yet, new policies, such as the Clean Power Plan in the US and the Clean Energy Fund in Canada and the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan, are emerging, leading to optimism that decarbonization and commitments to international goals will be honoured. Policies represent choices that have implications for future sustainability of the energy sector and affect achievement of the less than 2°C anthropogenic temperature increase. The path to transition to a sustainable energy sector is becoming clear and North America has the resources, entrepreneurship and capital to play a pivotal role in leading the way (IRENA 2015, Jacobson et al. 2015; Torrie et al. 2013; Clean Energy Canada 2014).


3.2.8 Sustainable consumption and production Source: USC 2016 194


Once a process, product, or service becomes easier to use or more accessible through efficiencies, the user decides to consume more. Although many consumers in North American and other OECD countries report their intention


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