CERI’s role in the Canadian Energy Debate – Empowerment of Decision-makers

Published on: January 07, 2020

The need for facts and unbiased research has never been greater. Social media has enabled an unyielding news cycle which doesn’t allow time to understand the nuances of Canada’s energy systems and the impact of decisions associated with their transformation.

During hasty, and often polarized, discussions about energy supply and demand, language matters. Take for example, the phrase - energy transition.To some, it means the phase-out of fossil fuels versus better environmental stewardship of continued fossil fuel production. To others, the ultimate energy mix includes only wind and solar, not nuclear, reservoir hydro, carbon capture and storage or biomass, to name a few. If our national concern, environmentally, is carbon emissions, shouldn’t the focus be on solutions regarding those emissions, and shouldn’t the solutions, that we as Canadians consider, include both domestic AND global emissions?

CERI research is designed to help Canadians understand the myriad of choices we face provincially/territorially, nationally, and internationally. The work does not presuppose an endpoint for energy transitions, nor a bias towards a solution. When it comes to climate change, there is broad support for action, but that support falls off in terms of which actions to take.

Through CERI’s analysis of energy issues over the past 45 years, the research demonstrates that, while the questions may be easy, the answers are never simple. Our work aims to give decision-makers in business and government a better understanding of the complex issues they face.

How will the value of traditional energy assets change with the evolving nature of carbon management policies? Can Canada reconcile its desire for resource development and jobs with its environmental goals, at home and abroad? Can Canada capitalize on its expertise in the environmental management of large-scale energy projects? What is our energy future in the age of climate change?

All studies highlight challenges linked to various economic choices. Values motivate Canadians, but we all must live with the associated economic and environmental consequences. Choices should be well informed. Choices should include consideration of available, credible energy information and persistent unknowns, to limit confusion and misunderstandings about energy production and consumption.

In a country weighed down by opposing views on critical energy issues affecting our future, CERI enriches conversations and debates by providing fact-based research and analyses. Through timely analysis, we paint a comprehensive picture of the impact of policies and decisions. We understand that our role in the national energy dialogue is to empower, not influence these decisions. For this reason, we actively research the most relevant energy and environmental issues in Canada so that the decision-makers can make sound decisions.