Canadian Energy Strategy Must Work for Atlantic Canada says Energy Coalition
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (July 24, 2012) - The Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition (ACSEC) welcomes this week’s discussions of a Canadian Energy Strategy among Premiers as they gather in Halifax for the annual Council
of the Federation meeting – but stresses any national strategy must respect the Atlantic Provinces’ energy goals, not just Alberta’s.
“Alberta arrived at last year’s meeting of National Energy Ministers in Kananaskis with a very clear set of priorities for a Canadian Energy Strategy,” explained ACSEC’s Regional Coordinator Catherine Abreu. “The Atlantic Provinces must come to this week’s meeting prepared to push for a balanced plan that supports their transition to a low-carbon economy, reflects their leadership, and works to improve Atlantic Canadians’ energy security.”
ACSEC encourages the Premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador to identify shared priorities and work as a united front to champion those priorities at the national level.
“Atlantic Canadians want to know what a Canadian Energy Strategy will do for Atlantic Canada,” said Abreu. “We want the Atlantic Premiers to let us know what kind of plan they’ll be pursuing and how it will benefit our Provinces in the long-term.”
Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of the Atlantic Chapter of Sierra Club pointed out that the Atlantic Provinces have already developed a variety of policies that should inform their direction on a Canadian Energy Strategy. “A plan that works for Atlantic Canada,” said Fitzgerald, “is one that helps us develop our renewable energy resources, supports our energy efficiency programs and seriously addresses climate change.”
In Nova Scotia, Ecology Action Centre’s Policy Director Mark Butler noted that provinces have greater influence when they pull in the same direction. “They need to pull the national energy conversation into 21st century renewable energy possibilities,” he said.
“Clean energy resources”, said Tony Reddin, Energy Coordinator for the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island, “are available in sufficient quantities, have near-zero air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions over their life-cycle, and can be strategically developed to eventually satisfy 100% of Canada’s energy requirements.”
ACSEC is a coalition of non-governmental organizations working on energy and climate change issues throughout Atlantic Canada. It includes the Ecology Action Centre, the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island, Sierra Club Canada’s Atlantic Chapter, and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.
Catherine Abreu, ACSEC Regional Coordinator
Director, Atlantic Canada Chapter - Sierra Club