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7.6 Provincial Summary: Newfoundland and Labrador

Reality Check: The State of Climate Progress in Canada

Emissions profile

Newfoundland and Labrador’s GHG emissions have increased 3% since 1990 to a total emission level of 9.5 Mt CO2e. A breakdown of 2009 emissions by source is provided in Figure 36.

Emission reductions measures by source

Stationary energy in the province represents almost half of its GHG emissions. Currently approximately 85% of the electricity in Newfoundland and Labrador comes from clean energy, and the province is working to enhance that capacity. Developing the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project will allow for a provincial electricity system that will be almost completely non-GHG-emitting. Muskrat Falls, would yield an estimated 1.2 Mt displacement of GHG emissions from the Holyrood oil-fired thermal generating station which currently emits over 10% of the province’s GHG emissions (see Chapter 3).nn The province intends to use profits from investments in non-renewable resources, conventional light crude oil for example, to develop the renewable energy potential of the province. Oil-fired electricity from the Holyrood generating station also will be displaced by the two wind projects on the island that reduces GHG emissions by about 0.14 Mt annually. The province is also focusing on energy efficiency to simultaneously lower GHG emissions while supporting the economy.

Mining and oil and gas extraction is a large contributor to stationary energy. This is primarily because of offshore oil operations like Hibernia. The fugitive emissions in the province have increased exponentially from 0.04 Mt to 0.6 Mt per year since 1990 as a result of oil and natural gas. Hebron is another offshore oil operation that will come into operation over the next few years and is expected to raise the number of GHG emissions in the province. Newfoundland and Labrador plans to require the application of best available control technology requirements for new investments in the industrial sector to limit GHG emissions.

Emission reductions from the residential, and commercial and institutional sectors are encouraged through fuel switching and energy conservation. Efficiency programs exist for new buildings and retrofits, low-income residences, public buildings, and public housing. Specific focus has been placed on energy efficiency projects in coastal Labrador.

Transportation accounts for 38% of the province’s emissions. An energy efficiency initiative for fishing vessels has been implemented in the province. Given the highly rural population distribution, mass transit alternatives are limited and reductions in this sector will be highly dependent on consumer-driven decisions.

Waste disposal contributes 0.6 Mt CO2e to the province’s total emissions. This number has increased 12% since 1990. The province’s Solid Waste Management Strategy has attempted to divert landfill-bound materials, to reduce the number of waste disposal sites, and to eliminate open burning and phase out incinerators.

The provincial government intends to pursue its own reductions through procurement, energy audits, new government building and retrofit measures, and continuing to green government fleet.

Provincial evaluation of emissions reduction measures

An Accountability Framework is being implemented by the Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Emissions Trading which establishes annual performance measures and targets, determines performance monitoring and reporting requirements, and assesses the need for program evaluations. The Premier will outline progress annually in the House of Assembly.

Regular monitoring and evaluation will document program impacts. A report will be released at the end of the plan and in 2.5 years (at the half-way mark) outlining progress on its commitments.

Inter-jurisdictional measures

As a member of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP), Newfoundland and Labrador adopted the shared goal of stabilization of GHGs at 1990 levels by 2010 with additional reductions of 10% below 1990 levels by 2020.

Newfoundland and Labrador is also a member of the Atlantic Energy Gateway, a mechanism to foster the growth of clean and renewable energy supplies in Atlantic Canada and to promote this energy to new markets.185

Collaboration with the federal government and other provinces and territories is an overarching theme of Newfoundland and Labrador’s climate plan. The province intends to become an official observer of WCI to be involved with its emissions trading scheme without having to adopt the commitment of full membership status.


[nn] Information included in this appendix is sourced from Government of Newfoundland and Labrador 2011 unless otherwise indicated.

[184] Environment Canada 2011b

[185] Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 2009