This morning the Province of British Columbia appointed Merran Smith to its Climate Leadership Team. The team will advise the government on how best to strengthen its leadership on climate change.
Smith delivered the following remarks at an announcement event in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Thank you, Premier, and thank you Minister for this opportunity.
I’m Merran Smith, the executive director of Clean Energy Canada, an initiative of the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. We work to accelerate our nation’s shift to a clean and renewable energy system.
I’m humbled to be in the company of some of British Columbia’s brightest climate and energy leaders.
And I’m excited to not only help chart the next chapter of climate leadership in this province, but also the next chapter of our economy.
Because make no mistake, things are changing quickly out there.
Beyond our borders, companies, countries, and entire economies are are increasingly shifting away from fossil fuels and are embracing clean and renewable energy.
Last year, on a global basis, investors moved $310 Billion into clean energy and energy efficiency technologies and services. Globally, more than 6.5 million people work in renewable energy, with China—one of our most important trading partners—leading the pack.
As a Gateway to the Pacific Rim, British Columbian entrepreneurs and innovators—like our hosts today here at General Fusion—are well positioned to capture a larger share of the export market for clean energy and efficiency technologies, services, and expertise.
And by recommiting to climate leadership, we are sending a signal to the world that B.C. is open for business in this growing global new climate economy. Worldwide demand for clean energy products is already at $720 billion, and according to one recent forecast, this will more than double over the next decade.
To that end, I‘m pleased to share today that we are undertaking a comprehensive analysis of British Columbia’s economy, and the benefits that we can secure from transitioning to a low carbon economy.
The research will shed light on how, exactly, this province can grow, prosper, and create jobs while meeting its climate change commitments.
We intend to share our findings not only with this team, but with British Columbians everywhere. We want to learn how they see themselves in this exciting new future.
In closing, I’d like to again thank you, Premier Clark and Minister Polak. Today we have taken an important step towards continued climate leadership.
Sources: Global demand for clean energy products: Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report, Analytica Advisors, 2014. Includes biorefinery products, clean power production, energy efficiency, transportation, and energy infrastructure. Employment data: REthinking Energy, International Renewable Energy Agency, 2014. Global investment: Bloomberg New Energy Finance.