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Charlottetown Initiative brings together progressive energy thinkers in the Maritimes

Last Thursday and Friday, I participated in a 2-day workshop called the Maritimes’ Sustainable Energy Transition: Charlottetown Initiative. The meeting brought together progressively-minded participants from the three Maritime provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) to discuss ideas for how to move forward with a progressive vision for energy in this region.

This was in part responding to the COP 21 Summit in Paris and in the lead-up to the meeting between the Federal government and the Provinces (which was a commitment of the Feds, to develop a framework for Canada’s updated climate plan), and in part a desire by many of us in the region to develop that vision for a just transition which we’re often too busy fighting to stop fracking and pipelines and clearcutting and spraying, etc. to think about.

Although there were lots of different ideas and opinions in the room, the strong facilitation by Anna really helped to keep us on track and lead us towards consensus on 4 major asks: 1. establishing public processes to determine each of the province’s fair share contribution to meeting the new global goal of limiting average warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius; 2. removing regulatory and grid-related barriers to local, distributed community energy projects; 3. focusing on energy efficiency, and; 4. decarbonizing and electrifying heating and transport. 

The conference felt like the start of something great. And indeed a network has been created to keep these 32 participants connected to continue the conversation on political strategy relating to a just transition from fossil fuel dependence, the development of sustainable energy policy, and action on climate change in the Maritimes. We also hope to meet face-to-face once a year to deepen the conversation.

A huge thanks to the organizers of the conference, and to Leo and Vangie Broderick for hosting me during the time in the beautiful Charlottetown, PEI!


For more information: Media release, 21Feb2016

On Twitter: #ChTownInitiative