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Merran Smith

Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada

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.
Carlos Barria / Reuters

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

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.
04/26/2017 01:46 EDT
Shutterstock / Vaclav Volrab

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

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.
05/31/2015 08:58 EDT

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

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.
05/12/2015 08:34 EDT
Getty Images

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

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.
09/19/2014 08:20 EDT
Alex Wong via Getty Images

Canada Needs To Stop Turning the Conversation Back to Keystone

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.
06/20/2014 05:42 EDT
Bloomberg via Getty Images

How To Change Canada's Energy Habits

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.
05/21/2014 01:13 EDT

Why British Columbians Want to Speed the Shift to Clean Energy

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.
04/27/2014 12:33 EDT
Huffington Post

Provinces Should Think Beyond Pipelines

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.
11/14/2013 05:16 EST

It's Game On for Canadian Climate Change Leadership

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.
06/26/2013 05:30 EDT

Will 40/40 Take the Heat off Edmonton?

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.
04/08/2013 05:19 EDT

Beyond The Bubble: A Recipe for a Stronger Alberta

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.
03/06/2013 05:06 EST

The Six Most Overlooked Energy Stories of 2012

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.
12/31/2012 12:20 EST

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

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.
12/18/2012 02:31 EST

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

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.
10/16/2012 01:08 EDT

Premiers Grab the Climate Change Baton

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.
08/03/2012 05:25 EDT

Even Alberta Agrees, Oil Cannot Be Forever

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!
05/23/2012 04:09 EDT

How Canada Can Lead on Clean Energy

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.
05/15/2012 12:39 EDT