The Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA) has commissioned a report which claims that hydro power produces 60 times less greenhouse gases and other air emissions than coal-fired plants and 20 times less than natural gas combined cycle plants.

The report’s analysis of data produced by Environment Canada examines the hydroelectric potential of British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador. It has been produced to persuade the federal government to smooth the development of more hydro power as a way of ratifying the Kyoto protocol.

‘The key to an effective climate change strategy,’ says Pierre Fortin, executive director of the CHA, ‘Is not the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol per se; it is the measures that Canada chooses to adopt to reduce and control emissions. Given the heavy use of electricity in our society, decreasing our dependence on carbon-intensive fossil fuels for our energy supply is essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the development of hydro power, a low-emitting source of electricity, must be one of the principal measures adopted.’