Merran Smith
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.

Entries by Merran Smith

Don't Compare Trudeau's Climate Record To Trump's

(8) Comments | Posted April 26, 2017 | 1:46 PM

Even the very best get it wrong sometimes.

That's the only explanation we've got for a recent column from environmentalist Bill McKibben.

In it, McKibben calls Justin Trudeau a "stunning hypocrite" on climate change whose actions make him a "brother" to climate skeptic U.S. President Donald...

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Solar Power Isn't Perfect, But It's the Best We've Got

(50) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 2:56 PM

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.

Writer Konrad Yakabuski argues that solar...

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Nova Scotia Should Become the Second Province to Adopt a Carbon Tax

(5) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 8:34 AM

Dear Friends,

I don't want to brag or anything, but I paid my carbon tax yesterday.

I'd just tanked up my vehicle -- I don't yet have an electric car -- with 30-odd litres of regular unleaded, near my home here in Vancouver, B.C.

The tab included an extra $0.60,...

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Debunking the "Clean Energy Jobs Vs. Oil Sands Jobs" Controversy

(4) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 3:28 PM

For years, the story of energy in Canada has been the story of fossil fuels -- so much so that in this country, at least, the terms are typically used interchangeably.

Last week my team flipped that story on its head when we released Tracking the Energy...

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Why the U.S. Energy Secretary Just Got Around to Visiting Canada Now

(13) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 8:20 AM

Today, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz kicks off his first visit Canada. He's sitting down in Ottawa with his counterpart, the Minister of Natural Resources, to continue what our government describes as an "ongoing dialogue on Canada-U.S. energy cooperation."

It's a bit of a head-scratcher that it has taken the...

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Canada Needs To Stop Turning the Conversation Back to Keystone

(9) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 5:41 PM

Imagine you have a neighbour who just won't stop talking about the condos that a developer wants to build down the street. Every time you bump into him, he tells you one more time how great the project is going to be for the neighbourhood.

You're less enthusiastic, but he's...

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How To Change Canada's Energy Habits

(2) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 1:13 PM

Imagine, with the flick of a switch, taking Calgary homes off the power grid for six months of the year.

No, it's not the plot of this summer's dystopian blockbuster. Rather, it's a vivid illustration of the actual energy savings potential that could be unlocked across the country if...

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Why British Columbians Want to Speed the Shift to Clean Energy

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2014 | 12:33 AM

A new poll released this week not only reveals that most British Columbians are keen to transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy, but also highlights their motivations for doing so:

  • More than three quarters of British Columbians (78 per cent) agree that B.C. should transition...
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Provinces Should Think Beyond Pipelines

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 4:16 PM

Last week Harvard professor Robert Stavins found a lot to like in the Pacific Coast Climate Action Plan, a new pact that seeks to harmonize carbon pricing and clean energy policies between British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California.

"The most promising path forward on international climate change...

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It's Game On for Canadian Climate Change Leadership

(4) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 5:30 PM

President Obama's Climate Action Plan, released today, amounts to a strong signal that Canada's "business as usual" days are numbered.

As the United States moves to reduce its reliance on coal, the country will need an abundance of clean and green energy to ensure both its citizens and...

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Will 40/40 Take the Heat off Edmonton?

(1) Comments | Posted April 6, 2013 | 8:25 PM

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.

But even...

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Beyond The Bubble: A Recipe for a Stronger Alberta

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 11:56 AM

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...

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The Six Most Overlooked Energy Stories of 2012

(5) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 7:15 AM

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. From Iqaluit, to Charlottetown, to Tofino, battles over bitumen, pipelines, and tankers bound for China dominated front pages, talk...

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Does Shell Decision Signal New Approach to Energy In B.C.?

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 1:00 PM

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 British Columbia provincial government showed Tuesday in walking away from a proposed coal bed methane development in...

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Surprise, Surprise: Northern B.C. Supports Carbon Tax

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 5:36 AM

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. In a recent article, Bateman...

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Premiers Grab the Climate Change Baton

(6) Comments | Posted August 3, 2012 | 10:50 AM

It didn't exactly ignite a clean-energy revolution.

But the Council of the Federation meeting of provincial premiers -- which wrapped up last week in Halifax, Nova Scotia -- did hit an important milestone: It placed the opportunity of the low-carbon transition and the imperative to finally do something about...

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Even Alberta Agrees, Oil Cannot Be Forever

(5) Comments | Posted May 22, 2012 | 6:29 PM

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 earlier this month in the trade magazine Alberta Oil. But it's received little attention...

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How Canada Can Lead on Clean Energy

(12) Comments | Posted May 15, 2012 | 12:39 PM

The hand-drawn sign in the photograph is fashioned from a circle of cardboard, and features a three-bladed wind turbine and the words "let's go." We can see a pair of hands grasping the sign, but not the person holding it -- who appears to be standing on some...

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