Breakup of the Century - Are Canada and Coal really over?

by mckaylalennox on November 23, 2016 - 2:03pm

     There is a new plan to phase out coal-powdered electricity by 2030, making Canada a leader in green energy. Regardless of the benefits striking someone as being insignificant, in the long term every single act of environmental management will in fact be worth it. In order to make a critical positive change, society must first recognize that it will not be easy. Meaning that luxury and convenience must be set aside for the sake of future generations.

      The article titled, ‘Liberals present plan to phase out coal-powered electricity by 2030,' expresses the importance of shifting to clean energy alternatives. In the article it states, “80 per cent of Canada’s electricity currently comes from clean sources such as hydroelectric power, nuclear, wind and solar.” (Harris) This statistic is truly uplifting, and shows that Canada can in fact be a leader for positive change in resource management. By helping to build a sustainable future, it as well provides economic opportunity. Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna states that switching to green energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions so much that it is, “…the equivalent of getting 1.3 million cars off the road.” (Harris) Phasing out coal not only helps the environment while benefiting the economy, it also immensely aids in health issues rooted from the burning of coal. Health issues such as asthma and cognitive disabilities will be lessened due to this phase out. However, this plan still has leeway in that it allows each province to decide which path they want to take. Wether it be through new technology, capturing carbon emission or actually shutting down the plants. Yet, they must meet the required performance standards if they choose to continue burning coal. During this time, provinces can hopefully adjust to new ways of energy use. McKenna recognizes that “this is a period of transition” and that it takes time to rely solely on green energy. Ian Culbert makes a captivating point when stating, “Any province that isn't interested in an accelerated coal phase-out really isn't interested in preserving the health of its citizens.” (Harris)

      Finding new alternatives for energy use is currently a hot topic for those dealing with resource management issues. Resource management is extremely important to radiate positive change. As learned in class some of the key rationales for resource management include ensuring social stability, guiding sustainable development, and avoiding the staples trap. The latter of those rationales is the most important because coal is a natural resource we rely on far too much. We need more than simply the justification for phasing out coal; society needs knowledge on all aspects including alternative energy resources. Society needs to be informed on all levels with consideration for the benefits and disadvantages of green energy. It is important that the article provides insight on the setbacks of coal energy use. Yet, it is missing information on what the future holds economically when this phase out becomes complete. It is known that Canada is a staples economy in most aspects, and it is important that the next step does not put us in a continuation of this cycle. I believe that with the use of education and the media, communities can truly gain insight on this matter from all points of view.



Works Cited 


Harris, Kathleen. "Phase out Coal-powered Electricity by 2030." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 21 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.