Canada's energy future

The need for integrating energy development and environmental imperatives

Last April, the Canadian Federal Government released the Draft Regulatory Framework for Air Emissions (see recent blog post). In this document, the Government proposed restrictions on Greenhouse Gases (GHG) and certain other kinds of emissions. According to a recent report by The Conference Board of Canada, an independent research and consultancy agency, emission policies need to be integrated with general energy policies.

The report by the Conference Board describes how in the past, Canadian energy development strategies focused on low-cost electric power, crude oil, and accessible energy resources. These strategies led to a strong energy industry that has contributed to Canadian prosperity, but today, the world’s appetite for cheap energy is counterbalanced by climate change concerns and GHG emission restrictions. The country’s current energy vision must reflect these changes. It should integrate environmental imperatives, instead of developing energy and environmental policies separately.

The Conference Board suggests that Canada 'ought to have a clear vision of its energy future, and a clear strategy to position us as a world leader in using energy more efficiently and in reducing GHG emissions from the energy we produce and consume.' This means that any forward-looking energy strategy should include measures to stimulate energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The report also emphasises that the energy policy should be developed in a more streamlined and better co-ordinated manner among all levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial, and local).

Reference

The report 'Canada’s Energy Future/An Integrated Path' by The Conference Board of Canada.

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