Getting it Right: Balancing Climate Change and Energy Policies in Western Canada

The four western provinces should play a leadership role in developing integrated climate and energy policy for the future


The goal of this project was to develop a regional approach to both energy and climate change, as the two policy areas are closely linked. Canada West Foundation suggested that an effectively integrated energy and climate policy strategy at a regional level could provide a template for a national approach, and would help ensure that regional perspectives would be represented in national discussions. This project set out to create an inventory of provincial, territorial, and federal climate change policies to date. It assessed climate change policies undertaken by specific cities. The project culminated in a series of publications that provided guidance on how an effective energy and climate policy should be developed, with the interests of the four western Canadian provinces significantly represented, in hopes that regional tensions could be mitigated.

Grant Outputs

Getting It Right –

This website introduces the “Getting It Right” project, explaining Canada West Foundation’s goals for a western Canadian policy framework to tackle both energy and climate change. They planned to help foster and facilitate a discussion between industry, government and other stakeholders in order to develop effective policy architecture. This website identifies the West as a good area to test the waters of a national policy program because the region is energy rich and home to many experienced energy experts. It concludes that if western Canadians demonstrate an ability to engage in a constructive and creative discussion, then political leaders in other regions and nationally might be more willing to join in.

Energizing the Climate Debate –

This commentary assesses the difficulty in Canada of establishing a clean energy policy. Canada West Foundation found that though they were able to reach a broad consensus among Western Canadian provinces on the future of a national energy strategy, the ghost of the 1980 NEP caused the federal government to dismiss the possibility out of hand. This article concludes that Canada must plan for a concerted energy policy in order to decrease GHGs while supporting a stable economy and becoming a global leader in clean energy production. It also suggests that it is time for the federal government to move past the regionalization caused by the NEP.

Getting It Straight: A Guide to Economic Policy Instruments for Addressing Climate Change –

This report provides short explanations of the jargon typically used in climate debates, in order to better inform policy makers about existing and potential policy measures for controlling climate change. It summarizes government initiatives such as a carbon cap-and-trade system, carbon offsetting, and joint implementation. The article goes on to explain the logic behind price-setting and taxing carbon, and suggests the variety of options available for reducing Greenhouse Gasses should be carefully assessed and chosen by policy makers to reflect the needs of their different jurisdictions.

Canada’s Power Play: The case for a Canadian energy strategy for a carbon-constrained world –

In April 2008, Canada West Foundation hosted a series of roundtable consultations that brought together energy sector experts and stakeholders to discuss western Canada’s energy future in an era of carbon constraint. This report summarizes the consensuses reached at a series of policy roundtables in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Leaders considered key policy considerations in creating a National Energy Strategy and came to a broad consensus. The policy recommendations listed in this report include the need for public investment in research and development, recognition that policies should be aimed at long term change, and the need for climate policy to take energy policy and the continental/global context under consideration.

Grant Details

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