Our energy future – bright or bleak?

October 16, 2008

Healthy Environment

I was part of an all day session yesterday with energy leaders from across the country.  We were developing future scenarios for communities in a carbon-constrained world – either constrained by climate change regulation and/or constrained by a decline in availability (and therefore affordability) of fossil fuels.  Some futures looked bleak – for people and the environment.  Others looked more promising.  They tended to be ones where we had been successul in building local, sustainable, and integrated energy systems.

The Canadian Government has established a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050.  There has been a lot of debate during the election on the use of carbon reduction instruments such as carbon tax or cap-and-trade systems to reduce CO2 emissions from large point sources.  Obviously, there is more to work out at that level.

Yet 50% of emissions in Canada come from urban heating, lighting and transportation.  This is consistent with the findings in our own Community Energy Plan.  To achieve a reduction of 60% in emissions by 2050, this end-use sector must also be addressed.  Certainly our Community Energy Plan does just that. 

The next step in the process will be to take the scenarios that were developed, identify a future that builds a sustainable and reliable energy future for Canadians and determine the policies and programs that we need to implement today to set us on a brighter path.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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