Over the past few weeks, the term “net zero” has been used extensively in these posts. In mid-March we talked about what exactly we mean when we’re talking about a net zero economy and why it’s important (for a quick refresher on net zero, check out this brief video from NII here). Then, just last week, we talked about Bruce Power’s commitment to achieve net zero on site by 2027.
The Clean Energy Frontier (Bruce, Grey, Huron) is leading the way and demonstrating tremendous initiative as we seek to become net zero.
This week’s post will give you a couple examples of how we’re doing this as well as give some insights from a great event that took place (virtually) on Parliament Hill this week. Here we go.
1. Bruce Power launches Carbon Offset Co-op
Yesterday, Bruce Power announced that they are launching a Carbon Offset Co-op that will fund grassroots net zero initiatives. These initiatives can include projects that both replace the use of carbon intensive practices or that sequester carbon in the soil. This will drive the development of homegrown solutions from Indigenous communities, agricultural partners, businesses, and others from across southwestern Ontario.
As part of the announcement, the Carbon Offset Co-op launched its website, which you can check out here. The website provides an opportunity to submit project ideas to be considered for funding with funding expected to begin in 2022.
This is true net zero leadership and demonstrates the need for all sectors and organizations to take a collaborate approach to finding solutions to climate change. For the Clean Energy Frontier, this means that not only will we be producing clean, reliable electricity and supporting a robust supply chain of clean energy companies, but we’ll also be home to a number of innovative carbon offset and sequestration projects.
As James Scongack, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Operational Services at Bruce Power said: “Every person, business, farmer, and community can contribute to a net zero Canada.” The Bruce Power Carbon Co-op will provide this opportunity to contribute.
2. City of Owen Sound greening their Building Services fleet
On Tuesday, the City of Owen Sound announced that two Hyundai Konas have arrived and will become the first two electric vehicles (EV) in the City’s fleet.
The vehicles will be used by the City’s Building Division which conducts hundreds of inspections through the City each year involving high volumes of in-City travel. The City also announced on Tuesday that the acquisition of these vehicles will also include the eventual installation of charging stations in Owen Sound. Notably, in the City Hall and Farmers’ Market area which will provide downtown residents and visitors with important public charging stations.
The EV future is upon us. Governments and vehicle manufacturers alike have been clear that adoption of EVs will become increasingly important in the years to come.
It’s great to see the City of Owen Sound take this important first step!
3. Canada Cleantech – Week on the Hill
As a former Parliament Hill staffer, I’ll admit that I am missing advocacy days/weeks. These are weeks where stakeholders will come to Ottawa to meet with political leaders to advocate for their causes. They are great ways for our leaders to learn more about industry priorities and vice versa. This week, the CanadaCleantech Alliance held a week-long virtual advocacy session that involved political leaders from across the political spectrum to discuss Canada’s cleantech sector. There were several fascinating discussions that took place. Here is a quick rundown of some of the key themes:
This was discussed at one of the sessions and highlighted the need for us to act now (achieve a net zero world) for the sake of generations to come. Future generations should not be left to shoulder the consequences of our actions. We need to do our best now to mitigate these consequences and build a healthier future.
“Think big, think fast.”
The Hon. François-Phillipe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, discussed this point extensively. It highlights the challenge we face when it comes to achieving net zero. We need some big solutions, and we need them now.
Another key theme throughout the week was the notion of policy alignment with governments around the world – notably the United States – and the opportunity this presents. Last week, we talked about President Joe Biden’s $2-trillion infrastructure proposal. Canadian political leaders this week were highlighting this as an opportunity for Canadian companies to use our expertise as this plan rolls out and take a Team North America approach to achieving net-zero.
Minister Champagne put it best when he said that cleantech is: “having a moment.” And it’s up to us to seize it.
--Chad Richards is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier.