Approval has been given for Canada to introduce regulations for cutting emissions from coal-fired power plants just in time to avoid tighter rules.

Environment minister Peter Kent said the regulations will force developers to reduce emissions to levels that are comparable to high-efficiency gas-fired plants, so new coal-fired plants will have to employ expensive, nascent technology, such as carbon capture and storage.

“We are taking action in the electricity sector because we recognize the potential for significant emissions reductions,” Kent said in a statement. “We are committed to build on our strength in the electricity sector and to lead the world in clean electricity generation.”

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