Tune in to build back betterEven in lockdown, Pembina Institute staff are making the case for a climate-friendly recovery and green job creation

Blog - July 9, 2020 - By Pembina Institute
Pembina Institute webinars

The onset of COVID-19 in early March scuppered the Pembina Institute’s planned in-person community engagements as lockdowns were put in place across the country, making any form of face-to-face contact impossible.

This could have been a time our conversations around climate policy and clean energy fell by the wayside, but we’ve continued to convene these important discussions virtually, and were able to expand them beyond city-specific engagements to Canada-wide conversations.

Throughout the pandemic we’ve addressed the need for a climate-friendly recovery to stave off the bigger global crisis of climate change and the importance of economic stimulus for green job creation as Canada seeks to rebuild a better economy coming out of this pandemic.

In addition to our own virtual events, we participated in online conferences and panels hosted by others that looked at the opportunities and challenges ahead. For example, our executive director Linda Coady joined the “stage” with Kathleen Taylor, chair of the RBC board of directors, at the Responsible Investment Association’s annual conference to talk about resilience and transition in an era of crisis and uncertainty.

Missed out? Below are some of the highlights from our own webinars (with links so you can view), as well as some external events we participated in over the past three months.

Corporate Knights at the round table

Pembina was invited to participate in several Corporate Knights events. Two were part of their Building Back Better series, a collection of round tables and reports focused on planning for a green recovery from the pandemic. Our executive director, Linda Coady addressed the role a green energy fund could play in our recovery. And Carolyn Kim, our Ontario regional director, was invited to speak on building back with a green mobility wave.

Every year Corporate Knights features 30 leaders under 30 years old who are changing the world. Our energy policy analyst Vincent Morales was named one of this year’s leaders. He spoke to Corporate Knights about his belief that policy is the main driver to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.   

Focus on renewable energy

This topic has taken on a new sense of urgency, as a result of COVID-19. Experts see renewable energy as essential to rebuilding an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable economy.

banner for lessons learned in municipal renewable energyOur Municipal Leadership in Renewable Energy series has held three webinars since the beginning of lockdown in March. The first focused on the lessons learned in municipal renewable energy projects and the second on taking the emotion out of communicating challenging topics related to renewable energy. Designed to address a particular pain point underscored by a number of municipalities trying to launch renewable projects yet receiving cultural pushback, this webinar was attended by well over 100 people.

Feedback from past webinar participants highlighted a demand for more information on solar energy. As a result, we added a new webinar to the series in May, Financing Solar Energy. The discussion covered solar financing options for residential, agricultural, non-profit, small business and corporate customers, and featured panelists from ATB Financial, the City of Edmonton, Solar Alberta and Skyfire Energy.

The Business Renewables Centre-Canada (BRC), a Pembina Institute initiative, also launched its BRC Webinar Series in June. The series focuses on the basics of corporate and institutional renewable procurement and its future in Canada. Each webinar in the series featured insights from leaders in this industry including EY, LevelTen and Power Advisory LLC. While the webinars themselves were for members only, short videos about the series are available on the BRC-Canada website.

Senior policy analyst Laura Hughes also participated in a webinar on Economic Stimulus and Climate Action in the Bow Valley hosted by Bow Valley Climate Action where she spoke to how the Pembina Institute’s green stimulus principles apply to Alberta’s Bow Valley municipalities.

The drive for zero-emission vehicles

banner for Building Canada's zero-emission vehicle economyZero-emissions vehicles will be another key component in rebuilding Canada’s economy. Significant opportunity lies in creating jobs and stimulating our domestic economy through investments in electric vehicle production, including building on Canada’s leadership in developing and producing hydrogen fuel cell technology.

We co-hosted a candid conversation with members of the clean transportation and electric vehicle communities on what it will take to make the right investments so that Canada can become an auto manufacturing heavy hitter again, all while taking steps toward a low-carbon economy.

Efficient, safe goods movement ensures that we all have access to essential items and services and is a critical part of Canada’s COVID-19 response and long-term economic recovery. We co-hosted a discussion with NACTO where we heard from the Cities of Seattle and Toronto, as well as UPS Canada, about how cities and businesses have adjusted their approaches to freight and curbside management programs during the pandemic.

Fostering a new energy economy

banner for New Energy Economy Women and the energy transitionIn early March we hosted a panel discussion looking a decade ahead to ask what will be required to meet British Columbia's 2030 climate target and set us on a path to meet our longer-term goals. Presented by the BC Sustainable Energy Association, in partnership with the Pembina Institute and FortisBC, this webinar takes a deep dive into B.C.’s roadmap to a sustainable energy future.

Last month, we held the latest panel discussion in our New Energy Economy women’s series. Featuring opening remarks from Pembina Institute Executive Director Linda Coady and some of Alberta’s most prominent female voices in the field of sustainability, the webinar explores the role of women in the changing energy economy.

Saeed Kaddoura, an analyst on our clean economy team, also participated in the Climate Reality Project’s “brunch and learn” webinar on the transition to sustainable jobs.

Boosting our economy with deep building retrofits

banner for Reframed Tech SeriesOver the past three months, we hosted a four-part Reframed Tech series on evolving deep retrofit solutions, with one more planned for July. Hosted with the Reframed Initiative, a partnership between the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, the City of Vancouver and the Pembina Institute, this series showcases companies developing ground-breaking deep retrofit technologies to create healthy, safe, affordable, and low-carbon housing. With more Canadians than ever facing low or no income as a result of COVID-related lockdowns, providing access to better, more sustainable affordable housing is more important than ever.

As Canada moves into new stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll continue to create opportunities for evolving discussions around climate policy and clean energy. We look forward to the day we can once again see you face-to-face. In the meantime, stay tuned as we bring you more of these important topics virtually, wherever you happen to be.


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