The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) applauded news that Premier Kathleen Wynne and Environment Minister Glen Murray are proposing new regulations to help Ontario’s energy-intensive industries reduce their reliance on coal and their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By 2020, CAC projects that this simple regulatory change will lead to an annual reduction of up to 400,000 tonnes of direct CO2 emissions in Ontario.
“It’s a major step forward in reaching Ontario’s GHG reduction goals and a strong sign that the Ontario government is serious about its commitment to climate leadership,” stated CAC President and CEO Michael McSweeney. “This move will also bring Ontario into alignment with leading jurisdictions in Europe and other parts of the world, where fuel substitution in cement manufacturing has been well established for decades.”
The proposed regulation will be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry (EBR) for 60 days and CAC encourages the public to review the proposal. While the proposal enjoys the support of many environmental and health groups, there remain some misconceptions. “Some people have this idea that we want to burn recyclables,” said Adam Auer, CAC’s director of sustainability. “We have no interest in these materials. To qualify as an alternative fuel, a potential fuel source must be non-recyclable and exist outside diversion and recycling programs, it must meet a low-carbon standard and it must not impact a facility’s ability to meet strict air emission limits.”
International experience overwhelmingly shows that fuel substitution significantly reduces CO2; maintains or improves other emissions; and promotes a robust collection, sorting and recycling system consistent with class-leading waste reduction goals, noted the association.