What is ‘Transition’? The Two Realities of Energy and Environmental Leaders in Canada

The University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy program uses the convening power of the university to bring together academic researchers and senior decision-makers from industry, government, Indigenous communities, local communities and environmental organizations to determine how to strengthen public confidence in energy decision-making.

Mockup of the report.

The report

The University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy program released a new study (PDF, 2.2MB) suggesting that decision-makers in the energy and environmental communities occupy two separate realities over energy transition in Canada. The report’s lead author, Positive Energy researcher Dr. Marisa Beck, uncovered the two realities by asking over 40 energy and environmental leaders about their use and interpretation of the term “transition”.

Individuals within both realities agree Canada is undergoing an energy transition of some kind. However, they disagree on the necessary pace and scope of transition. One reality views “transition” as a gradual process that will be driven largely by market forces, with a diverse energy portfolio that includes oil and gas. The other reality views “transition” as a set of broader social and political changes that must occur quickly, with a phase-out of oil and gas, and emissions reduction targets that should be as aggressive as necessary to hold global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius.

The report in brief

The two-page brief of the study (PDF, 2.2MB)
Brief of the study (PDF, 2.2MB)

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