CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — As Canada’s energy ministers convene here next week for their annual conference, an ad hoc alliance of more than 700 companies, organizations, and governments is urging them to build upon recent progress towards a “clean energy accord” for Canada.
In July, at the Council of the Federation, provincial premiers agreed to begin work on a Canadian energy strategy that would include a more coordinated approach to climate change and a path to a lower-carbon economy.
The forthcoming Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference offers an opportunity to move our provinces and territories further along that path.
“The energy ministers can build on the momentum that the premiers started in Halifax,” said Merran Smith, Director of Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada. “They can move forward together on an energy plan that reduces fossil fuel dependence, cuts energy waste, creates more clean-energy jobs, and fights climate change.”
This past summer, an unprecedented alliance of more than 700 companies, industry associations, labour unions, governments, and civil society groups challenged provincial leaders to work together to develop a Canadian energy strategy that would make the nation a global clean-energy leader.
The ad-hoc alliance, which collectively represents the interests of millions of Canadians, came together under the banner of a new program called Clean Energy Canada. Participants endorsed principles and a framework to develop a Canadian energy strategy that will deliver energy security, jobs and prosperity, address climate change, and protect the environment.
Separately, In July Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada commissioned Harris/Decima to poll Canadians on their priorities for a potential Canadian energy strategy.
Citizens identified as a “top” or “high” priority “improving energy efficiency” (82 percent), “creating more jobs in clean energy” (75 percent), “reducing Canada’s carbon pollution to slow down climate change” (66 percent), and “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal” (66 percent).
In contrast, only 33 percent of those surveyed placed a “top” or “high” priority on “exporting more of Canada’s oil and gas resources.”
“While we recognize that fossil fuels will play a leading role in our economy for years to come, we must urgently create a plan to transition the nation to the low-carbon, clean energy economy we want and will need tomorrow,” said Merran Smith.