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 economy have the energy they need. This creates a significant opportunity for Canada.
We have tremendous untapped clean and renewable energy capacity. According to a recent Trottier Energy Futures report, Canada's supplies of solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass energy are much larger than the current or forecast demand for fuel and electricity, and technology costs have been falling in recent years.
Our provinces have barely scratched the surface of what can be accomplished to meet both our own needs and those of our neighbours -- already our largest trading partner.
Canada's federal government has pledged to follow America's lead on climate change. We need to get back into the clean energy race, meet our own climate change commitments to limit warming to two degrees above historical temperatures, and better prepare our cities and communities for the intensifying impacts of climate disruption. Local governments are on the front lines of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
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.