Building Canada’s approach to climate: CanWEA and CanSIA part of the conversation on climate action
June 29, 2016
We’ve been talking climate! It wasn’t too long ago that Canada’s federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna attended our Spring Forum event and encouraged the industry to think outside the box. Minister McKenna suggested teaming up with other organizations to make our suggestions all the more powerful. We heard her message. Over the last month we’ve partnered with the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (CanCORE) and other renewable energy groups to answer the call from our Federal Government for solutions to climate change and clean growth.
You can engage directly with our recommendations on the Minister’s Let’s Talk Climate Action page.
Climate change science tells us that successfully meeting our obligations under the international climate agreement reached in Paris at COP21 will require much greater emission reductions than Canada’s minimum requirement of reducing GHG emissions by a minimum of 30 per cent from 2015 levels by 2030. With this in mind – and in partnership with CanSIA – we’ve joined the conversation with our recommendations on what Canada should do to act on climate:
- The Federal Government must ensure that there is an economy-wide price on carbon throughout Canada by 2020. We believe that carbon should be priced in every Canadian province and territory and the government commits to a long-term transparent schedule of increases in the carbon price with a minimum percentage of revenues allocated to the investment in various greenhouse gas (GHG) reducing initiatives.
Carbon pricing is fundamental to any climate change policy but it’s not enough to propel the growth of renewable energy. So, additional measures are required. We propose the Federal Government works to:
- Decarbonize Canada’s electricity supply. We can and must go further to capitalize on our tremendous renewable energy resources. Today Canada meets more than 80 per cent of its annual electricity needs from non-emitting electricity and 65 per cent from renewable resources. We must continue to take advantage of our huge untapped renewable resource and demonstrate our global leadership position by striving to have all of our electricity produced from non-emitting sources.
- Encourage the growth of renewable energy. Canada’s wind resources are world-class and so additional measures will be required to ensure that growing investment in renewable energy generation continues.
- Increase electrification and fuel-switching to renewable resources. To reach significant decarbonization of our economy we must emphasize the importance of electrification. Deep GHG emission reductions can only be achieved through the decarbonization of our electricity system and the subsequent use of that electricity to replace fossil fuels across a wide variety of end uses, including transportation, buildings and industrial processes.
- Develop and implement a Canadian renewable electricity export strategy. From wind to sun to water, we have more than enough renewable resources to sustain our domestic needs, decarbonize our electricity grid and electrify our economy while helping our American neighbours in their own transition towards a low carbon economy. In 2015 the U.S. released its Clean Power Plan which aims to cut carbon pollution from the power sector and offers Canada the opportunity to supply clean electricity imports to help meet these goals.
Canada is in a strong position to demonstrate global leadership in the area of climate leadership. We believe a focus on zero carbon electricity production, increased electrification and fuel-switching to renewable resources must be at the core of Canada’s climate change strategy.
Vice-President of Policy and Communications at the Canadian Wind Energy Association