Atlantic premiers meeting in Saint John today, April 12, focused on clean energy’s potential for job creation and economic growth and established the Atlantic Clean Energy Partnership.
“We are committed to working together to ensure an affordable clean energy future, and to support innovation and job creation as we transition to a new, clean energy economy,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.
Nova Scotia leads all provinces in greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions through work to transform the electricity sector to cleaner energy sources. Nova Scotia signed on to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change last December and has committed to establishing a cap and trade program to further reduce GHG emissions.
The premiers agreed to establish the Atlantic Clean Energy Partnership with a focus on identifying potential enhancements to electricity generation and transmission infrastructure, promoting energy efficiency, as well as the demonstration, deployment and adoption of clean energy technologies.
The partnership will see provinces working together, along with the Government of Canada, to identify opportunities to improve the region’s energy sector while meeting provincial objectives under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. These objectives are closely aligned with the goals of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, a regional initiative announced in 2016 to stimulate economic growth, support innovative and resource-based industries and increase job opportunities for Atlantic Canadians.
The strengthened Atlantic energy collaboration will:
— work to address energy generation and transmission capacity needs through Atlantic Canada
— support the development of renewable and non-emitting energy sources to enhance Atlantic Canada’s capacity to generate and export clean energy
— increase efforts to promote energy efficiency and heat pump technology for the industrial, commercial and residential sectors with a special focus on low-income and aboriginal communities
— build on the success of smart grid and storage technology to better utilize clean electricity and further electrify the heating, transportation and industrial sectors
— explore opportunities to make the best use of federal and private-sector funds to support transformative change in the region’s energy infrastructure.
The premiers directed their energy ministers, working in collaboration with the region’s energy utilities, to develop an action plan by summer 2017.
“Increasingly, our energy futures are going to be linked,” Premier McNeil said. “The Atlantic Clean Energy Partnership improves all of our opportunities through regional collaboration.”
The premiers also discussed the way forward on the Atlantic Growth Strategy. Collaboration with the Government of Canada through the strategy has great potential to drive development and growth in immigration, innovation, trade and investment, clean growth and climate change, and infrastructure.