After this past week’s announcement by the Federal and Provincial governments to phase out coal-fire electricity by 2030, one group is applauding the move.
Executive Director with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Kim Perrotta is thrilled.
“That’s something we’ve been pushing for, for a long time, and not only has Kate been doing that but we’ve been doing that with the support of 14 other health organizations across the country. Including the Asthma Society, the Lung Association and the Canadian Public Health Association and Heart and Stroke. So a number of organizations we see this as a huge win for health and we’re very delighted.”
CAPE believes there’s short and long term health benefits with phasing out coal powered electricity.
“The pollution from these plants is associated with chronic heart and lung diseases including lung cancer and asthma, and then in the short term you can have acute health impacts that can result in premature deaths. So people dying before they need to, it can also result in admissions and emergency room visits.”
It’s estimated the phase out will save about 600 lives, and about 500 hospital visits and the benefits will be immediate and significant for our province.
Perrotta said as Alberta has the most coal plants, we have the most to gain from the phase out.
“So we’re looking at something that’s going to make people’s lives healthier, we’re going to have fewer health care calls and we’re going to have fewer premature deaths because of air pollution.”
CAPE is hoping the phase out will start now, instead of it all happening in 2030.