Canadian energy leaders gather to hear latest insights on the design and implementation of emerging climate policies

Posted on 21 September 2016

breakfast-panel-2Canadian energy professionals gathered to hear the latest updates and insights on the design and implementation of emerging climate policies across the globe to achieve post-Paris GHG emission reduction targets, led by national and provincial governments and industry.

The exclusive Energy Panel Breakfast organised by the World Energy Council’s Canadian member committee, sponsored by Seimens, was opened by the Honourable Glen Thiebault, Minister of Energy, Province of Ontario.  Participants had a chance to hear from three of Canada’s energy leaders, as well as World Energy Council Secretary General, Dr Christoph Frei, during the panel discussion on September 13 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.

Dr Frei set the stage for the panel session with highlights from 2016 Energy Issues Monitor, and insightful comments about the global energy agenda and emerging climate change policy initiatives such as carbon pricing, energy trade, management actions, innovation and RDD&D.

In addition, Christoph Frei gave an exclusive preview of the World Energy Council’s new report, The Road to Resilience: Financing resilient energy infrastructure, which brings together the findings of the two previously published reports which focused on extreme weather events and energy-water-food nexus.

A panel discussion on the global trends and the Ontario Climate Change Action Plan its implications for the future of energy in Canada’s largest province moderated by Colin Andersen, Chair, Energy Council of Canada followed. It also featured panellists Tim Egan, President, Canadian Gas Association, and David McFadden, Counsel, Gowling WLG and Chair, Ontario Energy Association.

Colin Andersen commented on the federal government’s role in international climate commitments, the challenge of reducing emissions in the transportation sector, the reduction of electricity prices due in part to expenditures on revitalisation of electricity infrastructure, and the fact that many companies are benefitting from sales of incented green electricity.

David McFadden highlighted the central role of the Canadian provinces are playing by implementing many world-leading climate change policy initiatives, in particular the coal phase-out in Ontario as a world-first initiative.

Ontario, Canada, planned coal phase-out legislation beginning in 2005. Ontario annually consumed 15 million tons of coal in large power plants to supplement nuclear power. Nanticoke Generating Station was a major source of air pollution, and Ontario suffered ’smog days’ during the summer.

In 2007, Ontario’s Liberal government committed to phasing out all coal generation in the province by 2014. The Ontario Power Authority projected that in 2014, with no coal generation, the largest sources of electrical power in the province would be nuclear (57 percent), hydroelectricity (25 percent), and natural gas (11).

Tim Egan finished the panel discussion focusing on the importance of innovation within the energy sector, the impacts for consumers and the role of the utility.

A question and answer dialogue followed with the attendees then followed.

The event was held in conjunction with the Toronto Global Forum of the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA)1 on September 12 to 14, 2016.