Canada’s Path to Climate Prosperity

November 19, 2015

Report finds Canada’s renewable electricity advantage is key to cutting carbon pollution

Ottawa – November 19, 2015 – To meet Canada’s commitment to decarbonize its energy system and contribute to fighting climate change, we will need to produce twice as much renewable electricity across the country as we do today and use that energy efficiently to power our buildings, vehicles and industries.

That’s the key finding of Powering Climate Prosperity: Canada’s Renewable Electricity Advantage, the first report from the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity.

The report—which arrives as Canada’s prime minister and premiers prepare to meet next week in advance of the global climate talks—outlines Canada’s current renewable electricity production and explores how the nation can dramatically reduce carbon emissions by 2050.

The report argues that three significant changes to Canada’s energy production and consumption are required by 2050 if we aim to do our part to prevent average global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels. Specifically, we must:

  • Intensify efforts to cut energy waste across the economy,
  • More than double renewable electricity generation capacity, and
  • Increase use of electricity as the “clean fuel of choice” to power the economy.

The report draws on data and modeling conducted by the Low Carbon Pathways group at Carbon Management Canada, and published in Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in Canada (September, 2015). This report was released in conjunction with the release of the 16-country report in Paris by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). The international study will be tabled by the French presidency at the United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties in December 2015 (COP21).


“Canada has a renewable electricity advantage that can support real climate leadership. For too long, our national discussion about climate change has focused on what we can’t do. But we have tremendous renewable energy resources, technology costs keep falling, and it’s time to focus on what we can do.”
– John Gorman, President, Canadian Solar Industries Association

“The formula to decarbonize our energy system is straightforward: waste less energy, maximize our use of renewable sources of
electricity, and use electricity as the preferred source of energy to power everything from buildings to industry to transportation.”
– Jacob Irving, President, Canadian Hydropower Association

“Across the country, renewables are now a cost-competitive option for new electricity, and because the ‘fuel’ is free we know they will remain affordable. We already produce a significant amount of renewable electricity, but we have barely even scratched the surface of Canada’s renewable energy potential.”
– Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association

“Compared to most countries, Canada has a head start: we already get more than 65 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources. And we know how to responsibly tap into those resources, so now it is a matter of scaling up so we can power more of our lives with clean energy.”
– Elisa Obermann, Executive Director, Marine Renewables Canada


An initiative of Canada’s leading, national renewable electricity associations, the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity works to build public support for increased development of our abundant renewable electricity resources in order to further decarbonize North America’s energy system.

The founding members of the Council are the Canadian Hydropower Association, Canadian Solar Industries Association, Canadian Wind Energy Association, and Marine Renewables Canada.

Clean Energy Canada, a program of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, provides Secretariat support to the Council.

The Council can be found at and, and on Twitter @RenewableCanada.

Ce communiqué est aussi disponible en francais.

Dan Woynillowicz, Secretariat
Mobile: 250-551-2072