This release is available in French.
WHISTLER, B.C. -- New pledges to increase intergovernmental cooperation in advancing regulatory efficiency, collaborate on the development of new energy technologies and improve energy efficiency highlighted the annual meeting of Canada's Council of Energy Ministers today.
The annual meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Richard Neufeld, British Columbia Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
Building on priorities identified at the 2006 energy ministers' meeting in Whitehorse, the ministers agreed to collaborate on new energy technology partnerships in the priority areas such as cleaner fossil fuels, advanced energy end-use, alternative and renewable energy sources, bioenergy, and hydrogen production, storage and conversion. This will include collaboration with industry and academia.
"Everyone has a part in this, but it's up to us as governments to show leadership - and that's what we're doing," said Minister Lunn. "We are working collaboratively to foster the next generation of clean technologies to break through to emissions-free energy production and energy use," said Minister Lunn.
The energy ministers, in a joint session with mines ministers on September 24, were very pleased to note that all jurisdictions are making significant steps towards streamlining regulatory approval processes and agreed to continue to work collaboratively with their colleagues. These efforts will help ensure that Canada continues to be competitive in our resource industries while maintaining world-class standards for protection of the environment, workers, and the public.
"Both the federal and provincial governments take energy issues very seriously," said Minister Neufeld. "It's only during these kinds of collaborative meetings that we can share our best practices and work together to find solutions."
After discussing energy efficiency issues with representatives of government, academia, private sector and energy consumer organizations, ministers agreed to work to identify opportunities for collaborative energy-efficiency actions that could lead to a significant reduction in the growth of energy demand in Canada. Ministers agreed that energy efficiency and conservation have the potential to reduce energy demand in Canada by an amount equal to almost 25% of today's energy use by 2030, noting that each jurisdiction is acting on energy efficiency and conservation to meet their own priorities and needs. This builds on the recent announcement that all governments are working collaboratively to enhance the model national energy code for buildings by 25 percent by 2012.
Ministers also endorsed the document Moving Forward on Energy Efficiency which outlines that significant improvements in energy efficiency and conservation are fundamental to assuring Canadians have secure, reliable and competitively priced supply of energy for the long term. The ministers also stressed that efficiency and conservation are key to gaining the maximum economic benefit from Canada's energy resources while minimizing the environmental impacts of energy use.
Moving Forward on Energy Efficiency is designed to engage all Canadians -- governments, the private sector and individuals -- in a pan-Canadian effort to reduce energy consumption in homes and buildings, industry and on-road transportation. This document recognizes that different governments will want to pursue different priorities at different times, according to their unique situations.
It offers a menu of tools from which individual governments can choose to enhance energy efficiency and conservation. It also includes numerous options for action on energy efficiency by sectors outside governments, including professional and industry associations, retailers, financial institutions and others, ranging from energy-related training for professionals such as engineers and architects to the expansion of green financial instruments.
"The biggest untapped source of energy we have in this country is the energy we waste. Our work today brings cooperation among the federal, provincial and territorial governments to new level," said Minister Lunn. "That commitment, along with the input we've had from non-governmental organizations, industry, academics and Canadians at large, says we are ready to achieve real results for our environment, our economy and our energy security."
"Canadians and their governments are already emphasizing energy efficiency, and we're making real progress," said Minister Neufeld. "We are adopting a vision of how we can work together to turn real progress into spectacular progress."
Media may contact:
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Public Affairs Officer
British Columbia Ministry of Energy,
Mines and Petroleum Resources