‘Unacceptable environmental results’: New federal coverage restricts thermal coal | CBC Information

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The federal authorities is making it harder to develop thermal coal in Canada with a brand new coverage that claims all such mines create “unacceptable environmental results.”

The transfer erects one other roadblock for Coalspur Mines and its Vista mine enlargement in Alberta, the one such mine in Canada at the moment earlier than regulators.

Federal Atmosphere Minister Jonathon Wilkinson stated the transfer was made due to the necessity to cease burning coal for energy— the only biggest supply of greenhouse gases on the planet.

“Phasing out thermal coal is essentially the most essential local weather change situation proper now,” he stated.

The coverage, launched Friday, doesn’t rule out such growth.

However approvals can be robust to get.

“The federal government of Canada considers that any new thermal coal mining initiatives, or expansions of present thermal coal mines in Canada, are more likely to trigger unacceptable environmental results,” it says. “This place will inform federal decision-making on thermal coal initiatives.”

It says the federal cupboard should contemplate sustainability and local weather change in weighing any new initiatives, no matter dimension.

“What we’re saying is that is one thing that doesn’t match from a public coverage perspective,” Wilkinson stated. “A proponent can proceed on via the method, however that is a fairly excessive bar to surmount.”

Coalspur’s Vista mine enlargement mission close to Hinton, Alta., which could be the most important thermal coal mine in North America, has filed an software to the provincial regulator. Wilkinson has dominated the mission ought to face a federal environmental evaluation, though Coalspur is difficult that call in courtroom.

The corporate has been knowledgeable the brand new coverage will apply to it, Wilkinson stated. He added the coverage offers extra certainty to different corporations contemplating related initiatives.

Wilkinson stated he believes the brand new coverage lies inside federal energy regardless of its affect on pure assets, a provincial jurisdiction.

“We’re comfy that is one thing inside our purview to do,” he stated. “The huge, huge, overwhelming majority of Canadians would assume that that is one thing that is a no brainer.”

Canada is a founding member of the Powering Previous Coal Alliance, a group of nations making an attempt to scale back the usage of thermal coal round the globe. Wilkinson stated allowing new mines would hurt Canada’s efforts in that discussion board.

“We have been the chief within the worldwide group telling different international locations that they need to be phasing out thermal coal — and then we approve new thermal coal mines? Individuals would say that does not make any sense.”

Coverage does not have an effect on metallurgical coal

The brand new coverage doesn’t have an effect on metallurgical coal, the kind of coal present in many of the controversial new coal exploration initiatives within the Alberta foothills.

The federal authorities has been requested to step in on lots of these initiatives. Wilkinson has till July 1 to determine if he’ll request a federal evaluation for Montem Useful resource’s Tent Mountain mine.

Wilkinson referred to as emissions from steelmaking a special situation.

“[Thermal coal] is a short-term situation,” he stated.

“Our dedication with different international locations is to assist them part out [coal] 9 years from now. That is not a lot time.”

Canada has promised to part out the burning of coal for energy by 2030.

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