Energy Futures and Health Conference Public event

Blog - Sept. 11, 2012 - By Tim Weis

First United Church, 16 William Street West, Waterloo, Ontario. 7-9pm

How we produce and consume energy is intimately related to our physical health and wellbeing. Fossil fuels in the form of oil, gas and coal have well-known health risks, including respiratory disorders from air pollution and carcinogenic consequences from land and water pollution. Factoring in global warming, health risks from burning fossil fuels are even more significant today and into the future, as the likelihood for droughts, floods and extreme weather events increase.

Ontario is taking a leading role in Canada as it phases out its entire fleet of coal-fired electricity plants, shutting down almost half of its coal units and reducing the amount of coal it burns by almost 75 per cent. This effort is one of the most significant steps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in North America. However, there’s still a lot that needs to be done in Ontario and across Canada when it comes to cleaning up our electricity grid.

With its two world-class universities, Waterloo is a hub for new research and development in the technology sector. That’s why public health and energy experts from across Canada are gathering there Wednesday, September 12 for the Energy Futures and Health Conference to discuss Ontario’s role in building a healthy energy future for Canada.Energy Futures and Health Conference brochure.The event will explore relations between our options for energy production, human health, and the environment as well as some of the tough energy choices facing us today. As the director of the Pembina Institute’s renewable energy and efficiency program, I will be speaking about how Ontario’s leadership in phasing out coal also positions it to lead in renewable energy manufacturing and development. This will be the focus of the free public information and question and answer session on Wednesday evening.

While there are no easy answers, this conference will explore how our energy choices impact our health and the natural environment and the opportunities that arise as we move toward low-carbon sustainable energy sources. I hope to see you there.

Tim Weis
Tim Weis

Dr. Tim Weis was the director of the Pembina Institute's renewable electricity program until 2014.


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