With the right policy tools, Western Canada can build a strong clean energy economy.
Over the past five years, international markets for clean energy technologies have been expanding at a significant rate — a market opportunity that Western Canada stands to miss without comprehensive energy strategies at the provincial and federal levels. As global climate policy shifts, demand for energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy will only continue to increase.
Alberta and B.C. are well placed to take advantage of these opportunities and pioneer approaches that could be adopted in other provinces. Alberta and B.C. share export-oriented economies, skilled workforces and entrepreneurial experience. As interconnected markets, the advantages increase dramatically if these two provinces work together to find mutually beneficial opportunities.
We seek to see Western Canada grow its clean energy economy through comprehensive, sector-based climate, economic and industrial policies. These strategies should be collaboratively developed and leverage the strategies Canada has historically applied to establishing other industries, such as aerospace, mining and oil and gas.
Time to act
It’s time to advance the clean energy economy in Canada. In a year of low oil prices, international pressure to meet environmental targets and commitments to new climate policies from several Canadian provinces, Western Canada has the the opportunity to bolster an economic sector that is growing globally, offers important environmental benefits and can be a significant economic driver.
The Pembina Institute has a long record of credible research and analysis, coupled with abundant experience in successfully mobilizing stakeholders and advocating for progressive policies, such B.C.’s carbon tax and Alberta’s renewable energy standard.
We are committed to helping governments in B.C. and Alberta realize the benefit the clean energy economy can bring to their respective provinces. We will continue to consult with economics experts, finance and business leaders, First Nations, unions, environmental organizations and different levels of government to identify and advance shared policy goals. As technical consultants for public, private and non-profit sectors, we fully understand the barriers and opportunities to expand the clean energy sector in Canada.
The Pembina Institute performs technical and policy research. We lead national, provincial and regional dialogues. And, we work collaboratively to create the political space for a robust clean energy economy in Western Canada.