October 27, 2015

Technology and Policy Options for a Low-Emission Energy System in Canada

The Expert Panel on Energy Use and Climate Change

Summary

Climate change is a daunting and complex problem with potentially disastrous consequences. The evidence is clear: increased greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are causing pervasive changes to the Earth’s climate, and significant and rapid efforts will be needed to reduce these emissions in the coming decades. Any solution to this challenge will require major changes to how we produce and use energy.

To encourage a clearer understanding of potential solutions, Magna International Inc., asked the CCA to examine the technology and policy options for transitioning to a low-emission energy system in Canada.

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The Question

The CCA was tasked with synthesizing the evidence on select energy sources and technologies, as well as public policies, that would be involved in a transition to a low-emission energy system in Canada.

Key Findings

Technology and Policy Options for a Low-Emission Energy System in Canada is an up-to-date, accessible review of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving Canada toward a low-emission future. It provides an overview of Canada’s energy system, an analysis of different energy sources and technologies, and an exploration of the public policies available to support a shift toward low-emission energy sources and technologies.

The Panel acknowledged that the technologies to move toward a low-emission energy system, and the policies that promote the use of those technologies, already exist, are well-understood, and are constantly improving. In addition to examining these technologies and policies individually within the report, the Panel reached the following overarching conclusions:

  • Canada could achieve major emission reductions with the adoption of commercially available technologies.
  • Low-emission electricity is the foundation for low-emission energy systems.
  • A transition to a low-emission energy system is achievable with the right combination of stringent and flexible policies.

Expert Panel

The Expert Panel on Energy Use and Climate Change