There’s never a bad time for the Energy Futures Lab to meet, but the gathering in February in Cochrane was particularly timely. In the wake of Teck Resources’s decision not to proceed with its Frontier Oil Sands project, and in the shadow of both a national conversation over Coastal GasLink and Indigenous rights and a growing provincial one about the merits of separation from Canada, the time was right to ask some tough questions.
For as long as the EFL has existed, its work has been creating productive and solutions-oriented conversations about energy and climate as well as expanding the dimensions of what we like to call the “radical middle.” But with political polarization on the rise, and the dialogue around the energy transition becoming more binary by the day, we thought it was time to expand our reach — and our ambitions.
Since its inception, the EFL has had the intention to both include Indigenous people, partners, and perspectives as well as acknowledge and address, in its work, issues related to Indigenous people’s relationships to the energy system. As we step along our Truth and Reconciliation journey, we are embracing a knowing that this aspect of our work needs to be improved and deepened if we truly intend for the Lab to represent what is possible for today’s energy system in Alberta, and beyond.
We are thrilled to share a number of connections to the recently announced Clean50 awards. David Hughes, President & CEO of The Natural Step Canada, host organization for the Energy Futures Lab, has been named as a member of Canada’s Clean50 for 2020.
Over the last month something notable happened here in Alberta that not everyone may have heard about. On December 11th, the Canyon Creek Hydro Development Act received Royal Assent, enabling the Alberta Utilities Commission to issue its final approval for the Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project near Hinton.
The Energy Futures Lab is an Alberta-based, multi-interest collaboration designed to accelerate the development of a “fit for the future” energy system. It brings together a cohort of influential leaders to address current and emerging energy challenges, and generate opportunities for new initiatives and collaborations.
2018: A Good Year
Last year was a good year at the EFL. While our team is conscious that there is much to achieve in 2019, let me take a moment to acknowledge a number of accomplishments in 2018. The EFL was recognized as one of the Clean50’s Top 20 projects in Canada for 2018 for its outstanding contribution to clean capitalism. This recognition is grounds for pride in our work and evidence of the unique potential of The Natural Step Canada’s Sustainability Transition Labs overall.
On Tuesday this week, I was interviewed by host Laura Lynch on CBC Radio One’s Vancouver morning show, the Early Edition, for a segment about Alberta. The experience of the interview has me thinking a lot about the challenges we need to overcome in Canada to address energy and climate issues together.