Renewable renaissance on the horizon for Canada as it seeks to revamp its economy

Intro

Canada’s energy industry is poised to join the rest of the world in weaning itself off fossil fuels, according to new federal analysis. Policy Horizons Canada, a federal think tank, reported that the country’s fossil fuel industry is in swift decline as a result of a global accelerated energy transition. Based on a rising demand for renewables, especially among a rising middle class in developing countries, these findings show that any long-term investment in oil and gas infrastructure will lose value. With provinces like Alberta and Ontario teaming up to accelerate renewable growth, the next step will be for the federal government to follow advice from their own researchers and implement policies that move the country’s assets away from fossil fuels for good.

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Key Points

  • Not only is this progress, it’s also common sense. As “highly scalable and distributable” energy sources like wind and solar become more available, renewables are an increasingly appealing energy choice for communities of all sizes. With the fossil fuel industry scaling down rapidly in the coming years, moving away from dirty energy and towards renewables is a prudent financial choice that will also keep people healthier and safer.  
  • It doesn’t make sense for Canadians to invest in a stranded asset. The report cautions that investments in oil and gas infrastructure, like pipelines, “could be at high risk of becoming economically unviable as prices in renewable electricity further decline.” If the government goes through with these projects, taxpayers will be the ones stuck paying a hefty price for the inevitable.
  • Canada can only fulfill its climate commitments if it is ready to let go of its pipeline dreams. Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands are rising faster than the country’s ability to curb them. If federal leaders are committed to fulfilling the climate pledges made during the campaign period, and in Paris, now is a critical moment to put their own recommendations into policy and accelerate the just transition towards a renewable-only future.

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