The Green Energy Act Alliance (GEAA), a coalition of farmers, First Nations, trade unionists, environmentalists and developers of clean energy, applauded the announcement by the Ontario government that it is shutting down four coal-fired units.
"Ontario is distinguishing itself as being the first jurisdiction in Canada that was once heavily dependent on coal power but is now phasing it out completely by using clean and renewable energy resources," says Tim Weis, director of renewable energy and efficiency at the Pembina Institute.
The province has added more than 8,000 MW of new, cleaner energy since 2003.
Government figures show that since 2003, when coal-fired electricity use peaked, Ontario Power Generation's emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are down 81% and 77%, respectively. The coal plants' carbon dioxide emissions are down 71% from 2003, according to the government estimates.