As the UN climate talks draw near, Canada has enormous work left to do to reach its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Collectively, Canadians have to cut overall greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions across the economy by 2050.
And whereas countries like the U.K. have dramatically slashed their emissions levels, Canada’s one of the few nations where emissions keep skyrocketing, and where fossil fuel extraction keeps increasing every year despite our climate targets.
Given its track record, how will Canada achieve its goal of getting to net-zero by 2050?
In the upcoming online Conversations event on Thursday, 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET, host and Canada’s National Observer deputy managing editor David McKie will discuss how renewable energy can put the country on track to hitting its targets with Clean Energy Canada executive director Merran Smith, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices senior economist Dale Beugin, and WaterPower Canada CEO Anne-Raphaëlle Audouin.
Getting to net-zero grid through renewable electricity
“If we wanted to be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, Canada is one of the countries where this is actually possible,” said Audouin.
She says for that to happen, it would take a slate of clean energy providers working together to fill the gaps, rather than competing for market dominance.
“You couldn’t power Canada just with wind and solar, even with batteries. That being said, renewables happen to work very well together ” she said. “Hydropower already makes up more than 90 per cent of Canada’s renewable generation and 60 per cent of the country’s total electricity needs are currently met thanks to this flexible, dispatchable, abundant source of baseload renewable electricity. It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to envision hydropower and wind and solar working increasingly together to clean up our grid. In fact, hydropower already backs up and allows intermittent renewable energies like wind and solar onto the grid.”