Open letter: Our governments must act now to decarbonize and expand the electricity system, or Canada will fail to reach net-zero by 2050. 

On October 21, 2022, this open letter was sent to the Canadian Prime Minister and all Provincial and Territorial Premiers by 25 organizations representing a various range of interests across Canada. 

Dear Prime Minister and Provincial and Territorial Premiers: 

This letter is a call to motion. Our 25 organizations, representing a various range of interests, are writing to precise our serious concern that Canada isn’t acting with the urgency required to construct the inspiration required to fulfill our climate-change commitments—a decarbonized and far expanded electricity system.  

Canada has made commitments to a net-zero electricity grid by 2035, 100% Zero-Emission Light-Duty Vehicle sales by 2035, and net-zero greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions across the economy by 2050. This implies we now have only 28 years to decarbonize after which double the dimensions of our electricity system to support GHG emission reductions in transportation, buildings, and heavy industry. We also must higher integrate electricity with energy systems across the economy, while maintaining affordability and reliability. 

To successfully compete and prosper in the worldwide net-zero economy, Canada must prioritize the transformation of our electricity system. The brand new US Inflation Reduction Act provides one recent illustration of how other countries are actually investing significantly of their electricity systems to support the transition to a net-zero world. These investments are driven by each economics and the environment.  

Economically, countries are positioning themselves to provide and export the low-carbon technologies that may dominate global markets going forward. Increased use of electricity throughout the economy may ultimately lower total energy costs for consumers – provided we act now to plan and implement the changes required in our electricity system.  

At the identical time, Canadians are already experiencing significant economic, environmental and social impacts from a changing climate. These impacts are poised to turn out to be far more devastating within the years ahead—much more so if we fail to achieve net-zero by 2050. 

While we appreciate that a few of your governments have taken essential and positive initial actions targeted at transforming the electricity sector, others are earlier within the technique of meaningfully engaging this challenge. There’s far more to be done. Canada won’t succeed unless all governments make this a priority and work together on it. More concerted motion might be required from all of your governments if Canada is to maneuver on the speed and scale needed to construct the electricity system that may underpin Canada’s net-zero economy.  

We call upon your governments to act swiftly on the next 4 priorities:  

1. Develop comprehensive and integrated strategies to rapidly construct the important thing elements of the decarbonized and expanded electricity system that may support the net-zero economy: 

  • Dramatically improve energy efficiency in all sectors. 
  • Pursue market and regulatory reform to enable deployment of energy storage, disruptive smart grid technologies, and distributed energy resources. 
  • Competitively procure non-emitting electricity generation. 
  • Increase the efficiency and speed, without diminishing the effectiveness, of permitting and approval processes.  
  • Empower more corporations / consumers to buy non-emitting energy. 
  • Construct out latest transmission infrastructure. 
  • Facilitate electrification of the economy. 

2. Significantly increase interjurisdictional collaboration and co-operation within the design and delivery of those strategies: 

All governments (federal, provincial, municipal, Indigenous) must commit to, and contribute to, Canada’s 2035 and 2050 net-zero objectives. 

Pursue increased interjurisdictional alignment on energy planning and supply clarity on roles and responsibilities in support of net-zero objectives, to enable deployment of complementary and synergistic policies. 

The federal government must establish foundational policies, enable increased interjurisdictional dialogue and collaborative motion, and supply funding support for capability constructing and deployment of latest electricity system infrastructure. 

All governments, but particularly provincial and territorial governments, must take steps to modernize the market rules and regulatory frameworks that govern the electricity sector to prioritize climate considerations, encourage innovation, and facilitate the accelerated deployment of electricity sector investments.   

3. Be certain that these strategies work to offer advantages to all Canadians: 

– The transformation of our electricity system will create significant latest job opportunities for Canadians. We must plan today to develop the workforce of tomorrow.  

– These efforts should support equity, diversity and inclusion, providing jobs and economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities, marginalized communities, and communities where a discount in demand for fossil fuels will cause significant economic dislocation.  

– Recognition of the rights, land claims and Treaties with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities is integral to the technique of national reconciliation, as is congruency with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Direct and substantive Indigenous participation and leadership within the evolution of Canada’s electricity sector is just, equitable, and a real reflection of sustainability.  

4. Dramatically strengthen the main focus and intensity of your efforts to design and implement such strategies—starting now: 

– Investments within the electricity sector often take a few years to come back to fruition. Such investments are also long-lived—decisions taken today within the electricity sector can have implications for a long time to come back.  

– It is important that every one planning and actions pursued within the electricity sector today consider and support Canada’s net-zero targets for 2035 and 2050. 

Canada is ranging from a position of strength—our electricity system is already 80% non-emitting, and we now have massive, untapped renewable energy resources that represent a vital a part of a broader suite of low- or no-carbon electricity-generating solutions.  

But net-zero won’t just occur. Your governments must act now. You will need to provide the long-term policy clarity and certainty required for Canada to mobilize investment. This may empower the electricity sector to do its crucial part to support Canada’s 2035 and 2050 objectives.  

There’s much to do and there is no such thing as a time to waste. Further delay will only add cost to consumers and increase the danger that we are going to miss our targets. Canadians are counting on you to construct the inspiration needed to secure their future within the face of the challenges posed by climate change. 


Canadian Renewable Energy Association
Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada
Blue Green Canada
Business Renewables Centre Canada
Canada Green Constructing Council
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Nuclear Association
Canadian Steel Producers Association
Chemical Industry Association of Canada
Clean Energy Canada
David Suzuki Foundation
Electric Mobility Canada
Electricity Canada
Energy Storage Canada
First Nations Power Authority
Forest Products Association of Canada
Global Automakers of Canada
Indigenous Clean Energy
Marine Renewables Canada
Mining Association of Canada
Pembina Institute
QUEST Canada
Smart Grid Innovation Network
Student Energy
Waterpower Canada 


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