The first step in addressing the interlinked challenges of climate and energy is to have a national policy. Canada’s federal government must engage in a constructive and respectful fashion with other orders of government – provincial/territorial, municipal, and First Nations to set an overarching set of policy targets.
Canada is the only industrialized nation with no energy policy. We are also the only industrialized country with no climate policy. We need both and we needed them a decade ago. But a decade ago, many provinces, particularly Alberta, rejected any talk of a national energy policy. The legacy of ill will from the Pierre Trudeau NEP meant that politicians feared using the words ‘energy’ and ‘national’ in the same sentence.
But a dramatic change has occurred. Meeting in the summer of 2014, the premiers of the provinces and territories agreed that a national energy policy is needed. Of First Ministers, only Prime Minister Stephen Harper disagrees.
Green Party MPs will press for the establishment of national goals.
We believe a national energy strategy can work to prioritize the following goals in a compatible and mutually supportive framework:
Ensuring energy security for Canada;
Promoting value-added jobs from all energy sources;
Diversifying our energy mix to enhance our exceptional potential in renewable energy (including solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, and run-of-the-river hydroelectric);
Maximizing energy productivity (i.e. dramatically improving energy efficiency);
Shifting away from dependence on fossil fuels by embedding an aggressive climate action plan within our energy policy.