The conflict over the Kinder Morgan pipeline is dividing us in more ways than one and preventing us from moving towards the new economy—a carbon neutral or low carbon economy. It will be impossible to move forward unless we develop transition strategies to get us from our current fossil fuel development path to new development paths. There is no one single answer: we must convene the best minds in the country to begin developing evidence-based transition strategies and begin the necessary conversations.
Critical questions need to be addressed now. How much oil and gas reserves do we need to transition to a renewable energy grid? What is the time frame? Is it ethical to export existing oil and gas reserves until they are depleted? Is it ethical to continue to ship coal from our own country and that of our neighbour? How dependent is the health of our current economy on oil, coal and gas exports? What about the employment opportunities and dislocations of moving to the new economy? How do we deal with stranded assets, including waste? How do we accelerate the take-up of climate innovations so that no one province is left behind?
We are already one step ahead. We have a consensus scientific report entitled Re-Energizing Canada: Pathways to a Low-Carbon Future upon which we can build, rather than stay mired in the same old, the same old.
Image via Sustainable Canada Dialogues