Have Your Say on Climate Change and the Role for Renewables
April 25, 2016
It’s Up to All of Us to Help Canada Leverage Its Renewable Energy Advantage
On April 22, Earth Day, the Paris Agreement was signed by 175 nations in New York and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there to sign for Canada. The 196 parties that reached the historic agreement at the 2015 United Nations Conference on Climate Change in December have committed to taking action, to making measurable and binding commitments that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and attempt to keep the rise in global temperature to below 2°C.
Also on Earth Day, Canada’s federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, launched an on-line portal (LetsTalkClimateAction.ca) inviting Canadians to submit ideas and solutions to the four working groups that were struck as part of the Vancouver Declaration in March.
The Vancouver Declaration was a commitment made by First Ministers (Canada’s Premiers) working together with the Prime Minister to keep Canada’s clean growth and climate change promises and grow our economy while reducing emissions. The portal is to provide everyone with a stake in our future to provide insight and recommendations that will lead to action that gets results in four areas:
- clean technology, innovation and jobs
- carbon pricing mechanisms
- specific mitigation opportunities, and
- adaptation and climate resilience
Each working group has until September 2016 to provide reports that assess impacts on economic and environmental outcomes to certain ministers overseeing their work. Overseeing Ministers will then review these reports and provide their recommendations to First Ministers by October 2016, and make the working group reports public.
This is a tight window of time for sharing ideas!
It is not too late to start thinking about how you can contribute in a meaningful way. Wind energy along with other clean, renewable energy technologies have a central role to play in a decarbonized future – we must not be complacent about ensuring policy makers understand how to move forward from where our energy systems are today to where they need to be by 2020, 2030, 2050 and beyond.
At the recent Spring Forum held by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), Minister McKenna shared an important tip from the podium about what is needed when she said “I urge you to use this tool and also to think outside the box – maybe you want to team up with unusual suspects in your field or outside, making your suggestions all the more powerful.”
We heard her message loudly and clearly.
That’s why CanWEA is currently working with the other members of the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (solar, hydro, marine renewable) to prepare joint recommendations that acknowledge the synergies among renewable energy technologies. Our goal is to provide actionable solutions for decarbonizing the electricity grid and supporting increased electrification of energy end-uses, like transportation, heating and cooling and industrial processes.
Click here to read CanCORE’s Powering Climate Prosperity report which makes clear the critical role for renewable energy in Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy.
Watch for my blog about the next CanCORE report when it is released this summer – the new report will provide detailed recommendations for encouraging the deep decarbonisation needed if Canada is to achieve its clean growth and climate goals.
Featured photo: Left to right – Jacob Irving (President of the Canadian Hydro Association), Robert Hornung, (President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association), The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and John Gorman (President of the Canadian Solar Industries Association), at the CanWEA Spring Forum in Gatineau, QC, on April 6, 2016, where the Minister acknowledged the critical role of renewables in collaboratively addressing Canada’s climate change challenge. Photo by Teckles Photo Inc.
Vice-President – Communications and Events at the Canadian Wind Energy Association