On the Front Lines of The Climate Fight - B.C.’s Clean Power Producers Work to Help “Decarbonize” B.C.’s Economy
On the Front Lines of The Climate Fight
B.C.’s Clean Power Producers Work to Help “Decarbonize” B.C.’s Economy
November 2, 2015
VANCOUVER - The association representing British Columbia’s clean power producers kicked off its annual conference here by saluting the work its members do to create jobs and attract investment while keeping greenhouse gases off the province’s grid and pollution out of its communities.
“The era of carbon is over,” said Clean Energy BC executive director Paul Kariya, addressing the 340 delegates and 220 exhibitors attending the Generate 2015 Conference—the province’s largest annual gathering devoted to renewable electricity production.
“We need to rapidly decarbonize how we live—we need to change how we live right now,” added Kariya.
By “decarbonize,” Kariya was referring to the process by which vehicles, buildings, and industries that now run on fossil fuels will, in the coming years and decades, be converted to instead run on clean and renewable electricity to fight climate change.
Kariya cited the abundance of renewable energy resources that the province’s many clean power producers have already accessed, including run-of-river small hydro, wind, solar, and biomass. Taken together, the industry currently lights up 1.5 million of the province’s homes.
“We are the sector that is doing the most to fight climate change,” said Paul Kariya, addressing the clean energy leaders in the crowd. “You are at the forefront.”
Colleen Giroux-Schmidt, board chair of Clean Energy BC, echoed Kariya’s remarks.
“We do the work we do in the renewable energy industry, and make the investments we make, in part to ensure we are doing the best for our environment,” said Giroux-Schmidt, who is also a senior director at Innergex, one of Canada’s largest renewable power developers.
“We believe that climate change is real, we strongly believe renewable energy is part of the solution,” added Giroux-Schmidt.
In the coming weeks, the Government of British Columbia will introduce its draft Climate Leadership Plan. The plan will outline how the province will meet its climate action commitments while growing the economy.
A recent Clean Energy Canada study finds that as the province works to meet its climate targets, the number of people employed on renewable energy projects will more than quadruple, with nearly 3,000 direct jobs in clean power.
Earlier in the morning, the Honorable Bill Bennett, British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, reaffirmed his government’s interest in the sector. ”We are committed to the private renewable power industry in this province,” Minister Bennett said. “And we are committed to growing it.”
The conference runs today and tomorrow in at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver.
- By the end of 2016, more than 100 projects, distributed across the province, will be reliably, responsibly, and cost-effectively generating clean and renewable electricity for homes, businesses, and industry.
- Within the last two years, the clean energy sector has invested more than $4 billion in capital expenditures on the ground in B.C.
- During the same period, the sector created 2,850 full time construction jobs, 700 of which were held by First Nations.