Winnipeg forum says government policy will need to emphasize bold leadership and action, risk-taking, entrepreneurship and the creation of new energy industries.
More than 600 experts, industry representatives, traditional and emerging energy sectors, and Indigenous and community leaders gathered last week in Winnipeg to discuss how Canada is preparing for the low-carbon energy economy of the future.
Hosted by Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the two-day Generation Energy forum was the culmination of a six-month engagement of more than 350,000 people through online participation, in-person panels and workshops.
Billed as “The Conversation of a Generation”, the forum discussed how global energy markets are rapidly changing, the energy transition is already underway and the energy mix will change. However, the pace and scope are uncertain, so long-term, predictable, inclusive policy direction will be integral to the transition.
Key questions raised in the forum included:
- How do Canadians meet their climate change goals and ensure the next generation has access to clean, reliable, affordable energy?
- How can Canada become a leader in providing energy resources and clean technologies to the world?
- How can the country create, good middle-class jobs in the energy sector?
"We have a unique moment to set out ambitions for this generation and the next with regard to energy policy. This will be a challenge, but it's clear to me that Canada needs to use this opportunity to set a path forward so we can maximize our energy advantage through bold political leadership supported by the people to whom we are accountable," said Carr.
The participants said there is no single solution, because all energy sources are part of the path forward. Canada's energy future is likely to be as diverse as its people. As a result, they agreed that the policy approach will need to emphasize bold leadership and action, risk-taking, entrepreneurship and the creation of new energy industries.
Collaboration among all levels of government, as well as inclusion of diverse views and meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples will be needed, said representatives.
The feedback from the forum, as well as that gathered over the last six months, will help to define Canada's energy future for the next generation, as the Government develops an energy policy direction to complement the work being done by the provinces and territories.