Report: Canada Ripe for New Economy Investment

Competing in Clean EnergyOnce more, with feeling: With bold leadership, Canada can claim a bigger share of the global transition to clean energy. We can grow and diversify the economy, while reducing pollution and creating jobs.

That’s the conclusion of Competing in Clean Energy, a new report by the Pembina Institute, released today, that surveys recent research and interviews almost two dozen leading entrepreneurs, academics, and executives. The document reiterates the low-carbon opportunity, outlines the barriers to success, and recommends a few to-do items:

  • A national sustainable energy strategy.
  • A price on carbon and elimination of fossil fuel subsidies.
  • More stable and longer-term financing and export solutions for the clean-tech sector.
It’s all good stuff that reinforces much of our work at Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada, including Towards a Clean Energy Accord. That document recommends provinces work together to create a Canadian energy strategy focused on clean energy innovation and climate leadership.

Like today’s Pembina Institute report, we recommended the nation should eliminate any unnecessary public support, subsidy or tax-break for the oil and gas sector, and redirect that support to low- carbon renewable energy innovation and generation.

We’re delighted to see the opportunity story getting more attention. President Obama’s inauguration remarks yesterday—”We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries; we must claim its promise”—suggest our southern neighbour is about to get very serious about new-economy investment. Further, recent “heatwave headlines” coming out Australia and the United States underscore the imperative for Canada to diversify its energy system and economy. If the world embraces a serious shift away from fossil fuels, our economy will be vulnerable.

Dan Woynillowicz, Clean Energy Canada’s director of policy and partnerships, co-authored Competing in Clean Energy last fall while he was serving as the Pembina Institute’s strategy and communications director. Nice work, Dan!

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