Top talent to talk Canada’s energy future
Minister Carr to hosts heavyweights at Generation Energy conference
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/10/2017 (1883 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Some of the world’s most important thinkers on the entire spectrum of global energy issues will be in Winnipeg next week for the Generation Energy conference organized by Natural Resources Canada and hosted by Winnipeg MP and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.
The two-day conference (Oct. 11-12) will feature presentations from such heavyweight energy actors as Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, economic and social policy theorist Jeremy Rifkin and Eldar Saetre, CEO of Norway’s Statoil.
The conference is the culmination of a six-month process that Carr’s department has been engaged in to solicit ideas and opinions from Canadians about Canada’s energy policy into the future. The online effort generated more than 200,000 responses.
The enterprise is designed to provide high level, international perspective for the current government’s efforts to produce a well-rounded energy policy.
“We are looking for a set of policies that can knit the impressive assets that we boast in Canada so that we can at the same time take full advantage of the bounty of conventional resources we have while we develop with the private sector renewable sources of energy through innovation and R&D and clean technology,” Carr said.
The scores of presenters among the 600 expected attendees include leaders in the energy industries, renewable energy, energy efficiency and technology and innovation.
“It is probably the most impressive and diverse group of energy thinkers that have ever been brought together into one place at the same time certainly in Canada, and I would argue internationally as well,” Carr said.
One of the conference presenters, Scott Vaughan — the CEO of the Winnipeg-based International Institute of Sustainable Development — said, “The conference is pulling together all the different moving parts and looking at it and saying what does it all mean? Absolutely, this is the most important energy meeting that has ever been convened in Canada. And, if you look at the single most important gathering in the world next week, it is going to be in Winnipeg.”
Carr, the former longtime CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba (and a former editorial writer at the Winnipeg Free Press) said he was particularly thrilled to be hosting such an august assembly in Winnipeg.
Carr said: “We signed the North American MOU (memorandum of understanding) on continental energy in Winnipeg (in February 2016) with secretaries (Ernest) Moniz and (Pedro Joaquin) Coldwell (from the U.S. and Mexico). I am doing my best to establish Winnipeg as a world-leading centre in future energy policy. Because we really are important in our production of clean energy.”
The conference comes at a time when the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline is under a legal microscope as Indigenous and environmental groups and British Columbia cities argue the process was incomplete and failed to take into account the impact the pipeline could have on everything from killer whales to waterways.
The $7.4-billion pipeline project is being built by Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, to more than double the capacity of an existing line between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.
Carr said the conference comes at very important moment in time “because of the imperative of climate change and the inevitable transition over time to renewable sources of energy and clean tech.”
But he said Canada’s traditional sources of energy are still important.
“That’s why we approved the Trans Mountain expansion project and Enbridge Line 3, because we want to expand our exports market,” he said.
“Ninety-nine per cent of our export in oil and gas goes to the one county, the U.S. We want to expand markets and market access is important… We believe a safer way of transporting those fuels is through pipeline rather than railroad. All of this will be up for discussion.”
— with files from The Canadian Press
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.
Updated on Thursday, October 5, 2017 10:14 AM CDT: Adds CP credit