Guided by the 2015 position paper “Acting on Climate Change” developed by more than 60 Canadian researchers representing every province, we endorse its recommendations for actions that could be immediately adopted to kick-start Canada’s necessary transition toward a low carbon economy and sustainable society. These include:
- Build East-West intelligent grid connections that allow provinces producing hydroelectricity to sell electricity to their neighbors while taking full advantage of Canada’s low carbon energy potential. Hydroelectricity could then be combined with intermittent renewables such as wind and solar energy across the country so Canada relies 100% on low-carbon electricity production by 2035.
- Well-managed energy efficiency programs that produce significant positive economic returns across the board, through cost savings as well as job creation. Energy efficiency programs could target the building sector, businesses and industries, and especially transportation.
- Support evolution of the building sector toward a carbon neutral or carbon-positive sector, including investment in renewable and ambient energy for new and existing buildings. Integrate sustainability and climate change into landscape planning at the regional and city levels to ensure that, amongst other goals, new and maintenance infrastructure investments are consistent with the long-term goal of decarbonizing.
- Support sustainable fisheries, forestry and agriculture practices, offering opportunities not only to limit greenhouse gas emissions but also, where possible, to enhance carbon sequestration, protect biological diversity and water quality.