Today, Minister Shannon Phillips and Minister Sarah Hoffman were joined by members of the Alberta Medical Association and the Asthma Society of Canada to speak to the need for Alberta to phase out coal emissions.
“We know that the emissions from pollution caused by burning coal have a negative impact on Albertans’ health and is costing our health care system. That is why we have made transitioning to cleaner sources of energy a priority.”
Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks
“Right now, 55 per cent of Alberta’s electricity is generated by coal, and coal pollution causes respiratory illness in more people than any other way of generating energy. It’s time for Alberta to move to cleaner sources of electricity, and that’s what we’re going to do by reaching zero coal emissions.”
Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health
The Alberta government is committed to phasing out coal emissions by 2030. To do that, our government aims to replace two thirds of our existing coal electricity with renewable energy.
By working with Alberta’s electricity generators, the Alberta Utilities Commission and the Alberta Electricity System Operator we will achieve these goals. Further, our government will keep the cost of renewables as low as possible by using market mechanisms. This transition will ensure reliability of the electricity system and deal fairly with companies and coal workers.
“Physicians know very well the negative health effects of air pollution, including from coal power generation. In the fall, the AMA’s governing body passed a motion calling on the association to advocate for a phase out of coal power in this province as soon as possible. We are very pleased to learn of the government’s plan to expedite this process and seek other solutions that will be healthier for all Albertans.”
Dr. Carl W. Nohr, President of the Alberta Medical Association
“There is a direct link between the burning of coal and asthma exacerbations, hospital admissions, and untimely deaths, not to mention climate change. The Alberta government has responded to protect the health of all Albertans, particularly those who suffer from respiratory disease, such as asthma. We are extremely pleased with the unwavering commitment the province has made today to ensure the air we breathe is clean.”
Noah Farber, Acting President & CEO, Asthma Society of Canada
“Nurses work every day with Albertans young and old who suffer from reparatory ailments. So we were pleased with the Alberta government’s plan to phase out coal-fired electricity generation because it will have a positive impact on the health of Albertans and on the sustainability of our health care system. As trade unionists, we were also pleased the government chose to make this change in a way designed to mitigate the impact on Albertans who work in the coal industry.”
Heather Smith, President, United Nurses of Alberta