The electricity sector is unique among industrial sectors in its very large contribution to emissions associated with nearly all air issues. Electricity generation produces a large share of Canadian nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide emissions, which contribute to smog and acid rain and the formation of fine particulate matter. It is the largest uncontrolled industrial source of mercury emissions in Canada. Fossil fuel-fired electric power plants also emit carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. In addition, the sector has significant impacts on water and habitat and species. In particular, hydro dams and transmission lines have significant effects on water and biodiversity.
With a view to protecting the environment, Environment Canada works with the provinces and territories to take action to reduce the environmental impact of electric power generation sources both domestically and internationally. Environment Canada's preferences for reducing emissions from electric power generation include energy conservation and efficiency, climate policy, energy sources with low air emissions and low environmental impacts, and cleaning up sources with high air emissions, such as coal-fired plants.
Use the following links for information on:
Canada's electricity regulations
Canada's electricity sector
Canadian energy forecasts
United States and electricity
United States electricity policies are of significant interest to Canada, and vice versa. For information on U.S. electricity issues and policies, please follow the link for United States Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The Canadian and U.S. electricity systems are highly interconnected. For information on the integration of the Canadian and U.S. electricity markets, please follow the link to the Canadian Electricity Association.
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