Hydro Group Pushes Hydroelectricity to Fight Climate Change

The annual meeting of the Canadian Hydropower Association was used to emphasize the seriousness of climate change, and to promote the role for the country’s electricity sector to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

OTTAWA, Ontario, CA, 2001-11-16 [SolarAccess.com] GHG emissions would be much higher in Canada without hydropower, said Ric Cameron, an assistant deputy minister at the federal energy department NRCan. The domestic hydro industry has more to offer than clean energy; it can also export its technology and expertise in the field. Environmentalist Pierre Lundahl said hydro reservoirs in Canada emit minimal amounts of GHG, which diminish over time. Alex Manson, executive director of the Climate Change Bureau with Environment Canada, noted that Canada’s emissions are 15 percent above 1990 levels. The U.S. national energy program could have serious impacts on the environment, according to one panel at the CHA meeting, because it favours fossil fuel use. The U.S. is the largest single emitter of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, and Canada bears the brunt of these emissions because it is downwind. By replacing high-emission sources with hydropower, the industry can contribute to the reduction of air pollution, smog, acid rain and global warming. “Clearly, the export of clean, renewable hydropower to the United States is good for all, Canadians as well as Americans,” says CHA executive director Pierre Fortin. “CHA continues to believe that energy efficiency and conservation, combined with the sustainable development of hydropower is the solution to supplying electricity demand without mortgaging our future.”
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