Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna was excited.
Speaking to a room full of infrastructure, finance, and cleantech professionals from across Canada at GLOBE Capital in Toronto, McKenna was enthusiastic as she shifted her talk from the risks of climate change to the opportunity that it presents.
She had opened the discussion by quoting a colleague who had provided the dark reality that climate change presents, referring to it as “a clear and present danger.” That reality has started to settle in, and the result is that there is now a conversation in the business community about the risks involved and how it will affect their business.
But the reality of climate change has now presented an opportunity, one that the business and government communities are beginning to take hold of. It is a opportunity to take action to move both Canada, and the world, towards a low-carbon economy.
The renewable energy sector is seeing significant growth on the global market, with wind and solar capacity growing by more than 10 per cent year-over-year. McKenna noted that in China, the current growth of wind power equates to two wind turbines being erected every hour of every day in the country. And despite the political realities south of the border, the five largest wind energy generating states are ones that are currently governed by the republican party.
In Canada, the success of the cleantech sector is helping to drive new opportunities in renewable energy. McKenna noted that 11 of the Top 100 Global Cleantech companies call Canada home. McKenna noted one specific innovator, Carbon Engineering in Squamish, B.C. The company is commercializing technology that captures carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and transforms it into fuel. Innovations like these are accelerating work towards creating a low-carbon economy.
GLOBE Capital is a two-day conference focused on financing the 21st century. Visit www.www.renewcanada.net for our exclusive coverage of the event.