2016 Consultations on Climate Change – Hydropower: A Key Canadian Asset in Tackling Climate Change

Hydropower: A Key Canadian Asset in Tackling Climate Change

Canadian Hydropower Association

Environment Canada

2016 Consultations on Climate Change


Canada has vast hydropower resources that can increase the supply of renewable nonemitting

energy to citizens and businesses, support the electrification of the economy,

facilitate the development of other renewable sources of power and play a key role in

tackling climate change. To support the development of this important resource,

Canada needs:

I) A Pan-Canadian carbon pricing mechanism with broad sector coverage.

The carbon price should produce a clear and sufficient price signal in all regions of

Canada to drive a progressive and sustained shift toward a higher percentage of

renewable non-emitting power and to support electrification of the economy. To avoid

overlap and excessive administrative costs, the pan-Canadian carbon pricing mechanism

should accommodate the various existing provincial carbon pricing systems.

II) A Timely and Efficient Federal Environmental Assessment and Authorization Process

Canada’s vast hydropower resources represent a key asset in the fight to reduce

greenhouse gas emissions. Because hydropower is capital intensive and long to develop,

it is particularly sensitive to regulatory delays and uncertainty. The development of

Canada’s largest renewable power source requires timely, clear, efficient, and broadly

supported environmental assessment and authorization processes that recognize the

benefits of non-emitting power. This should be a government priority during the

upcoming reviews of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) and Fisheries Act (FA).

III) Public Support for Action

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, shifting our energy sources

toward more renewable power and electrifying the economy will bring large air quality,

health and economic co-benefits. Promoting these co-benefits is important to maintain

public support for climate action.

IV) Awareness of the Role and Benefits of Hydropower and other Renewables

The government should continue to actively promote hydropower as a key Canadian

clean and renewable energy source domestically and abroad.


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