Keywords: Canada, electricity markets, green power, international trade, Mexico, sustainability, USA
A North American definition for "green electricity": implications for sustainability
This paper investigates the potential implications, for sustainability, of a North American standard for "green electricity" (that is, electricity generated by environmentally-friendlier means). More specifically, four conceivable approaches to a North American standard are identified, namely, a continental standard with no local variation, a continental standard with "objective" local variations, a continental standard with local interpretations and a set of continental norms with local priorities. For the first and last of these four approaches, potential sustainability impacts are highlighted and discussed. The paper concludes by arguing that further investigation is warranted the particular approach taken at the continental level has the potential to be a powerful force, either positively or negatively, with respect to the sustainability of the North American electricity system.