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Policy Briefing: Renewable Energy
Canada ranked 11th in clean energy finance and investment, a drop from eighth place in 2009. This slide is reversible, but the federal government must take a leadership role.
The global renewable energy market is already a trillion dollar industry, and it is projected to grow by another trillion dollars in the next decade. Millions of green jobs will be added around the world and Canada is simply not at the table.
Canadians benefit from one of the cleanest electricity mixes in the world with more than 77 per cent coming from non-emitting sources. In 2011, more than 63 per cent of our electricity was generated by renewable sources.
Ontario is making major changes to its growing wind energy sector, providing municipalities more say over where turbines will be located and more revenue from projects. But despite changes in provincial regulation, anti-wind energy groups say the government continues to ignore health concerns associated with the source.
Although Ontario has indicated it will make changes to its renewable energy policies to comply with a recent WTO ruling regarding unfair trading practices, government support for the burgeoning industry has already helped position the province as a renewable energy leader worldwide.
Albertans are more aware than ever about how much coal is burned to generate electricity in their province according to a recent poll. But it will likely be natural gas rather than renewable energy that replaces coal energy on the grid—if coal is ever even phased out.
Renewable energy deployment is picking up steam and it’s time for the next policies to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, says the International Energy Agency.
Critics call for tougher oil and gas regulations and an end to fossil fuel subsidies.
‘I see health and economic issues, but not really environment. I don’t think just because you’re from the North you necessarily know a lot about the environment,’ says former Conservative MP and House Environment Committee chair Bob Mills.

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