The Knowledge to Act


Pipeline paralysis should not halt all climate action in Canada: IISD

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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – JUNE 28, 2018 – While ending federal investments in fossil fuels remains a critical, contentious goal, a new report shows valuable areas of agreement Canada can act on immediately to advance a green energy transition.

On Thursday, an expert council of energy industry representatives, Indigenous leaders, researchers and sustainability experts—including Jane McDonald, Managing Director of the International Institute for Sustainable Development—provided practical recommendations to the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, on how Canada can transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Oil and gas were represented, hydro was at the table, new renewables and First Nations leadership were there,” says McDonald. “We have some substantial disagreements in this country on tackling climate change that still need to be addressed. But the report from this council is a significant step in the right direction because it outlines some ideas all Canadians can get behind.”

The Generation Energy Council Report, Canada’s Energy Transition: Getting to our Energy Future, Together, points to five areas that government, industry and average Canadians should immediately act on:

  • Wasting less power: The unsexy but essential actions that increase energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while saving families and businesses money.
  • Switching to clean energy: 80 per cent of Canada’s electricity grid is powered by emissions-free sources; expanding what’s “electrified” in our country to include transportation and industry will be a major victory in GHG reduction.
  • Cleaner fuels: Biofuels, renewable natural gas (from farm waste or landfills) and hydrogen can reduce our GHG production affordably.
  • Producing cleaner oil and gas: Reducing emissions per unit of oil or natural gas produced will require rapid technological innovation.
  • Pathfinding with Indigenous Peoples: Empowering Indigenous Peoples as part of Canada’s energy transition can help remedy our country’s greatest social injustice.

“Let’s make an effort to come out of our corners and keep talking,” says McDonald. “Our energy future is about much more than a pipeline, but only if we make it so.”

About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today – ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic and social rules, a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work impacts lives in nearly 100 countries.

For more information, please contact: or +1 (613) 238 2296 ext. 114