Merran Smith is the executive director of Clean Energy Canada, which works to accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean and renewable energy economy. Clean Energy Canada is a program of the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University.
The transition to clean energy, it turns out, may not actually be that controversial. Two-thirds of Canadians now say we ought to prioritize growing our economy in ways that don't involve fossil fuels...
Environmentalist Bill McKibben calls Justin Trudeau a "stunning hypocrite" on climate change whose actions make him a "brother" to climate skeptic U.S. President Donald Trump. But any objective comparison would show that Trudeau's position on climate change is far stronger than Trump's.
You can almost set your watch to it: Every time a new and disruptive technology begins to take hold, the backlash follows. So it is with "The Darker Side of Solar Power" -- an article that appeared last week in The Globe and Mail. Nobody ever called solar perfect. But when we look at how the technology stacks up against its fossil and nuclear peers, there's simply no contest. Solar remains a safe, reliable, scalable, and increasingly affordable solution to our energy challenges. That might not make for a provocative headline, but it is the truth.
A carbon tax is as a useful fiscal tool that can be tailored to meet both the environmental and economic goals of any given jurisdiction. How great would it be if Nova Scotia were to join hands with British Columbia as the second province to enact a carbon tax, and serve as climate leadership "bookends," inspiring all the others in between to follow suit.
We don't suggest one job is any more or less important, or appropriate, than the other, or that one is competing with the other. As we are seeing in Canada, both sectors can experience growth simultaneously.
Today, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz kicks off his first visit Canada. It's a bit of a head-scratcher that it has taken the secretary this long to pop over to the neighbours, given the amount of trade between our nations. But then again, as of late the cross-border energy conversation has been getting a bit, well, awkward.
U.S. leaders have made it clear that they want to hear more about Canada's plans for clean energy. During President Obama's very first visit to Canada, he and Prime Minister Harper launched a cross-border Clean Energy Dialogue that's still going strong. Speaking in Edmonton this month, Hillary Clinton called on Canada and the U.S. to work together to become global leaders in tackling climate change and making the transition away from fossil fuels. Despite those encouraging signs, our government seems determined to turn the conversation back to Keystone XL -- a proposal that, clearly, President Obama is in no hurry to approve.
For utilities, behaviour-based energy efficiency programs could make for happier customers, as industrial and household ratepayers alike are ready to be empowered to better manage their energy use and bills. Similarly, policymakers charged with delivering on energy efficiency will appreciate having one more arrow in their quiver.
Though the B.C. government primarily sees China as a market for carbon-based fuels -- including the roughly eight million metric tonnes of thermal coal that pass through Port Metro Vancouver each year -- the opportunity to export clean energy products and services is enormous. This could be anything from small wind turbines made in Surrey to "energy intelligence" software developed in Vancouver.
As the Philippines endure the aftermath of the largest tropical storm ever to make landfall -- and as nations such as China make moves to establish carbon pricing -- this is not the time to double down on fossil fuels.
President Obama's Climate Action Plan, amounts to a strong signal that Canada's "business as usual" days are numbered. It looks like the United States is taking serious action on all these fronts, as promised. Our own government has said it would "wait and see" before following suit. The waiting is now over. Game on.
The climate and energy challenge is frequently portrayed as a world of absolutes. We are either doomed, or salvation is just around the corner. We have either missed the narrow window to forestall disaster, or are told it is premature to act in the face of persistent uncertainties.
With all the gloom-and-doom swirling around Edmonton this week, an outside observer might conclude a state funeral was in the works instead of an annual budget presentation.
Yet while Premier Redford undeniably has tough decisions to make, there are promising signals that she is looking beyond bubbles and examining a range of more enduring solutions to the province's challenges.
This past year, the story of energy in Canada was a story of Alberta oil -- who owns it, who wants it, and how we're going to get it to them. But there was more going on out there. Here are a few stories that we argue matter just as much to our energy future, but that didn't necessarily trend on Twitter.
At a time when much of the focus on Canada's energy sector is on where we lag, it's important to applaud examples of strong leadership. That's what Shell Canada and the B.C. government showed Tuesday in walking away from a proposed coal bed methane development in a region of northwestern B.C. known as the Sacred Headwaters. One decision doesn't suggest a trend, but we're hopeful that Tuesday's news suggests a new approach to energy development in the province.
Plenty of Vancouver's latte-sipping, seawall-jogging condo dwellers support the carbon tax. But so does everyone else in British Columbia keen to secure a better future for his or her community. Not that you'd know that after listening to Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation who suggests that rural British Columbians universally loathe the province's world-leading climate policy.
Bateman also rehashes the myth that carbon pricing unfairly punishes interior and northern residents, because they tend to use more energy. He is mistaken on both counts.
The Council of the Federation meeting of provincial premiers -- which wrapped up last week in Halifax, Nova Scotia -- hit an important milestone: It placed the opportunity of the low-carbon transition and the imperative to finally do something about climate change squarely at the center of the Canadian energy agenda.
Canadians want their government to develop a national energy strategy that would protect the environment and help the country reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. That's the takeaway of a recent national poll published in Alberta Oil magazine. Alberta! Of all places!
It is an arresting image, capturing a quiet act of dissent and call for change direct from the roaring industrial heart of northern Alberta. What makes it even more poignant is the fact that the revolution the anonymous oil worker calls for is already underway. Canada just hasn't yet shown up.