Our research

Canada’s Energy Future in an Age of Climate Change

Current research interrogates political polarization around energy issues in Canada–its causes, severity, and consequences. The team has been busy reviewing the literature, preparing fieldwork, planning events, and building new collaborations. The research has proceeded with the following stages:

Fall 2018 - Spring 2019

The new report, Canada’s Energy Future in an Age of Climate Change: How Partisanship, Polarization and Parochialism are Eroding Public Confidence, unpacks the core challenges and opportunities when it comes to building confidence in public authorities making decisions about Canada’s energy future in an age of climate change. These fundamental questions form the agenda for Positive Energy’s next three-year phase of research and engagement.

The Role of Public Authorities in Energy Decision-Making

Positive Energy's research stream on the role of public authorities – policymakers, regulators, Indigenous authorities and municipalities – in energy decision-making. The research proceeded with the following stages:

Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

Final synthesis. Each of the discussion papers is being revised in light of the workshops to include concrete recommendations to strengthen public confidence in energy decision-making. A final synthesis paper will ‘roll up’ all of the findings from the discussion papers and include the full suite of recommendations to reform energy decision-making in Canada.

Spring 2017 - Fall 2017

Convening Leaders on Key Stresses in the Energy Decision-Making System. Positive Energy convened workshops with energy leaders from business, government, Indigenous communities, municipalities, ENGOs and academia on each of three main stresses identified in System Under Stress. At each workshop, a discussion paper was authored by a member of the Positive Energy Research Team.

Fall 2016 - Winter 2017

Mapping the Energy Decision-Making System and releasing the report below.

Spring 2016

Planning Phase. The research began with a planning workshop for energy leaders in June 2016 at which the discussion paper below was released.

The Role of Local Communities in Energy Project Decision-Making

Positive Energy partnered with the Canada West Foundation to undertake a comprehensive research study on the role of local communities in energy decision-making. The research proceeded in three stages:

Spring 2016 - Fall 2016

The research team undertook detailed deep-dive case studies into six communities across the country that experienced energy project decision-making processes for various kinds of energy projects. The research findings were published in the major report below.

Separate reports were prepared for each case study:

Fall 2015 - Winter 2016

Interviews with two dozen senior energy, environmental and Indigenous leaders assessing their views of challenges to community confidence in energy decision-making. The findings were published in the report below.

Spring 2015

A literature review of social acceptance and trust in energy development was written.

Public Opinion Survey Research

Positive Energy has a partnership with Nanos Research, its official pollster. We have undertaken surveys of the general public (see below) and have created an Energy Leaders Panel, comprised of some two thousand energy and environmental leaders across the country from the business, government, ENGO, Indigenous and academic sectors. Research findings from survey research appear below:




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