Federal budget has a role to play in ensuring climate action
March 21, 2016
Wind energy has a role to play in achieving climate goals
Every year at this time the Minister of Finance invites input on priorities that the Federal Government should pursue through the upcoming and subsequent Federal Budgets. On behalf of members, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) takes advantage of this opportunity to make clear how wind energy can help the federal government achieve many of its goals.
The commitment of the Federal Government to act to address climate change and collaborate with the provinces to develop a national climate strategy is very encouraging. CanWEA agrees with the Federal Government that an expansion of clean and affordable renewable energy production in Canada has a central role to play in such a strategy.
As a start, Canada will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity production by replacing fossil fuels with zero-carbon electricity generation, like wind energy. To achieve the deeper emission cuts needed to address climate change, Canada will then begin to power other sectors with this clean electricity to reduce fossil fuel use in transportation, heating and cooling of buildings, and industrial processes. Also, the U.S. is now looking to Canada for clean electricity imports to help meets its own aggressive greenhouse gas emission targets.
While provincial governments are responsible for many of the policy frameworks that will determine how Canada cleans and modernizes its electricity grid and energy systems, the federal government has an important leadership role to play.
To help articulate clearly what the federal government can do to support the needed increase in wind energy and other renewable energy in Canada, CanWEA submitted the following recommendations:
- Ensure carbon is priced across Canada;
- Regulate greenhouse gas emission reductions from electricity generated by natural gas;
- Issue green bonds to support financing of renewable energy projects;
- Provide green infrastructure funding that supports investments that enable and facilitate the deployment of more renewable energy, for example, transmission lines, electrification of transportation, and the displacement of diesel fuel in remote communities.
- Support policy and technical research focused on enabling increased deployment of clean renewable electricity in Canada;
- Facilitate the export of clean renewable electricity to the United States; and
- Strengthen Canada’s collection and use of renewable energy data.
For more details about these recommendations, click here.
Canada has the cleanest, most renewable electricity generation system in the G7, and the fourth largest renewable electricity generating capacity in the world. More importantly, Canada continues to have significant untapped renewable energy potential that promises to bring significant economic, environmental and climate benefits to Canada. CanWEA looks forward to working with the Federal Government to address climate change and collaborate on a national climate strategy.
Vice-President of Policy and Communications at the Canadian Wind Energy Association