Dr. Hastings-Simon serves on the Pembina Institute's board of directors. She is an expert in energy, innovation, and climate policy. Her focus is on improving understanding of how energy and industrial transitions happen within different sectors of the economy, and how public policy can improve outcomes. She explores markets and policy structures that support decarbonization of electricity. Her research also examines the role of incumbent companies and governments in deploying new technologies in high-carbon economies, and the response of firms to carbon pricing and other climate policy measures.

In addition to her role with the Payne Institute on natural resources, energy and the environment at the Colorado School of Mines, Sara is an expert member of the panel for Clean Growth with the Canadian Climate Choices Institute, a member of the board of directors of Emissions Reduction Alberta, and a research fellow at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. She was previously the director of clean economy at the Pembina Institute where she founded the Business Renewable Centre Canada. She was also the practice manager for Clean Technologies at McKinsey & Company. Sara obtained her PhD in Physics from the University of Geneva and her Masters from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Sara Hastings-Simon's Recent Publications

All Hands on Deck cover

All Hands on Deck An assessment of provincial, territorial and federal readiness to deliver a safe climate

July 22, 2021 - By Nichole Dusyk, Isabelle Turcotte, Thomas Gunton, Josha MacNab, Sarah McBain, Noe Penney, Julianne Pickrell-Barr, Myfannwy Pope

Though Canada’s provinces and territories hold much of the power over energy resources, the majority lack the policy infrastructure and measures necessary to achieve significant emissions reductions. To determine readiness to act on climate, the Pembina Institute and Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management assessed each province, territory and the federal government on 24 climate policies and measures foundational for climate success.

Aerial view of the Town of Innisfail's 25-megawatt solar farm, located just off of highway 54

Local leadership brings big renewable energy opportunities to Alberta town How the Innisfail town council kickstarted a conversation, creating a chain reaction of innovative and profitable projects

June 11, 2021 - By Sarah Nason, Laura Hughes

The Town of Innisfail is quietly and confidently challenging stereotypes about small town Alberta with its award-winning renewable energy work. Representatives from the town say projects like their new solar farm have been a financial win, boosting their local economy and paving the way forward for even more opportunities.

Nine things you didn’t know about our new ED’s approach to climate change Linda Coady shares her views on the economic impact of investing in climate action, and the key to resolving contentious resource conflicts

March 31, 2020 - By Sarah MacWhirter

From pandas to pipelines to Olympic rings, our new executive director’s experiences vary wildly, but the constant throughout is her success at finding common ground to advance climate and environmental action.

Ontario's economic investment outlook dims with new government energy actions

Aug. 13, 2018 - By Silvio Marcacci, Sara Hastings-Simon

Ontario’s government framed its reversal of carbon pricing and clean energy programs as an attempt to “save the little guy” — but it may have inadvertently thrown its economy in reverse while losing jobs and costing consumers.

How a price on carbon reduces emissions

Aug. 8, 2018 - By Sara Hastings-Simon, Steven Cretney

By making polluters pay, a price on carbon pollution kickstarts behaviour changes and innovation. A well-designed price on carbon pollution ensures that as the price increases, so does the number of options to lower your footprint. There are many possible solutions across sectors; this infographic looks at three areas — transportation, heating, and electricity.


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