Mannkal Economic Education Foundation
From the outside, it appears that COVID-19 has reshaped the contours of Australian energy and climate policy. Superficially, there is much that appears relevant to Canadians: a functional form of federalism, attempts to resolve the climate policy wars, and serious consideration of a trans-continental natural gas pipeline. These developments would have been unimaginable as recently as January 2020; however, the economic impact of COVID-19 and the need to accelerate decision-making has shifted long-entrenched positions and removed layers of bureaucracy from sclerotic processes.
For six months, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has superseded all other public policy priorities. Governments placed their economies in a state of suspended animation, buttressed their health care systems, and pushed trillions out the door to help citizens weather the storm. But other policy problems are not going away. Indeed, COVID-19 has exposed and deepened many cracks in the system. As countries reopen, governments and multilateral institutions are grappling with what comes next, and how to reverse what the IMF estimates will be a five per cent contraction of the global economy in 2020.
One of the most important issues in the 2019 election was Canada’s energy future. There was intense debate on issues such as carbon taxes, pipeline siting and the balance between environmental concerns and the economic benefits associated with fossil fuel development. These issues were especially important in western Canada, characterized by strongly differing opinions between the Prairies and British Columbia.
Public Artist, Education Consultant
and art for social justice advocate
It’s been over a year since Dr. Monica Gattinger invited me to join the Positive Energy Team, within the Institute for Science, Society and Policy, at the University of Ottawa. As the team’s art consultant, I’ve learned a lot and contributed a little; my personal growth as an artist and as a thinker has grown exponentially. I’m thankful.
How do Canadians view the trade-offs between economic recovery and addressing climate change in an age of COVID-19? New survey work from Positive Energy and Nanos Research suggests that Canadians are still likelier to say this is the best rather than the worst time to be ambitious about climate change.