The EAC’s statement on proposed updates to the Clean Electricity Regulations

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Today, the government of Canada announced an intention to update the Clean Electricity Regulations (CER) and open a 30-day comment period for additional consultation. The announcement follows a 75-day public comment period that ended Nov. 2, 2023, during which the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) urged the federal government to implement the regulation in a timely matter and to avoid any additional allowances for carbon emissions. 

Now the EAC is calling on the federal government to implement the CER without further delay. We are concerned that more delays could result in a decision not to finalize and implement the regulation, particularly with a federal election on the horizon. The CER will help deliver on Canada’s commitment to reach a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 and ensure that a clean transition is prioritized in Nova Scotia, which will make our energy system more affordable, reduce health effects caused by burning fossil fuels and create jobs.  

Since the release of the first draft of the CER, the federal government has provided crucial policy direction for provincial decision makers and utilities, while creating investment certainty for the development of renewable energy in Nova Scotia.  

The release of the initial draft of the CER led to a joint policy statement on behalf of the governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada reaffirming a joint commitment to net-zero electricity by 2035. Regional and national demand for clean electricity created by the CER was cited specifically as a driver of wind energy development in the Nova Scotia Offshore Wind Roadmap, released by the province last year. Both Nova Scotia Power and NB Power have incorporated the CER target of a net zero electricity grid by 2035 into their respective Integrated Resource Plans, a key planning document governing each utility’s electricity supply. 

While strong policy direction can create investment certainty for renewable energy, ambiguity in implementing the CER threatens to undermine investment in wind and solar, along with tens of thousands of new jobs in Atlantic Canada. As Nova Scotia seeks to transition away from coal and deploy thousands of additional megawatts of renewable energy, the EAC calls upon federal policy makers to act according to the priorities of the majority of Atlantic Canadians. Polling released by Abacus data last year reveals that 77 per cent of Atlantic Canadians support the Clean Electricity Regulations. 

The EAC is committed to achieving a net zero grid in Canada and Nova Scotia by 2035. We will continue to engage in the policy development process for CER and call upon the federal government to ensure that the will of the Nova Scotian public is respected and that decarbonizing electricity generation in Canada remains a priority. 

Media contact:

Thomas Arnason McNeil
Senior Energy Coordinator | Ecology Action Centre | (438)-938-8810 

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