That’s why the energy conversation is critical; the decisions we make today will affect our quality of life for generations to come.
Stripping the question down to a binary choice of guaranteed energy or protecting the environment is not helpful. In fact, it’s a throwback to the sort of argument last heard from industry in the 1970s when environmental groups tried to get polluting factories heavier regulated. Then as now, the trade unions sided with employers.
Creating a quality discussion
Given the rhetoric being thrown around, what chance is there for positive collaboration and seeking common ground?
We believe this conversation needs the constructive participation of all interested parties, whether it’s environmental non-government organizations (ENGO), industry, First Nations, special interest groups, governments, academics, educators or ordinary citizens. We all need to take accountability for creating a quality discussion. We’re all part of the problem and all part of the solution so if we work together there should be no blame involved.
Results from collaboration
Look at the good things that can happen when stakeholders get on the same, solutions-oriented page:
- the Boreal Leadership Council which is focused on creating shared solutions to conserve Canada’s great boreal forest;
- the Clean Air Strategic Alliance which brings together representatives from government, First Nations, industry and environmental groups to improve air quality;
- the Clean Air Renewable Energy coalition where corporations and ENGOs are working together to grow Canada’s renewable energy industry, and secured a wind power production incentive from the federal government which has helped increase installed capacity from just 26 MW in 1998 to more than 5,400 MW today.