Environment Canada’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting program requires emitters of a specific size to report emissions of the six classes of GHGs that are identified in the Kyoto Protocol. Of these six GHGs, four result from NSPI’s operations.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) results from the combustion of carbon in fossil fuels. This is NSPI’s main greenhouse gas, comprising almost 99% of the total GHG emissions.
- Methane (CH4) results from small amounts of methane being emitted from the stacks of natural gas-fired plants
- Nitrous Oxide (N2O), which is created in lower temperature combustion systems such as Point Aconi
- Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6), which is an insulating gas that can leak from electrical equipment
The federal government is proposing standards for coal-fired electricity generation that could have considerable impacts on NSPI’s operation but requirements have not been finalized. Also, the provincial government in Nova Scotia has enacted legislation that established a goal of reducing provincial GHG emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. In August of 2009, the province enacted limits on NSPI’s greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2010. The intention is to limit emissions through a series of staged caps from an average of 9.6 million tonnes for 2010-2011 to 7.5 million tonnes by 2020.
NSPI’s CO2 and GHG emissions are showing a trend downward after remaining remained steady at approximately 10 megatonnes for several years.