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[September Theme Report] Energy Security in Canada and the World: Sustainable Development for a Just Energy Transition

by Fiona Brown | 08-09-2023 02:01 recommendations 0

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 is Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all, with the objective of global implementation of a stable and sustainable energy system, phasing out fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), and creating a renewable energy infrastructure for a secure and constant source of energy to power homes and businesses. As the half-way point of the SDGs draws near, achieving globally stable and efficient energy presents a complex challenge for fossil fuel-reliant countries and particularly in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). For example, as of 2023, 269 million people live without a consistent light source, with 4 in 5 of them living in sub-Saharan Africa (1).

 

Lack of energy stability has drastic repercussions in intersectional issues such as employment, economic security, education and human health. In LDCs, lack of adequate energy infrastructure makes it necessary to complete tasks such as cooking using carbon-emitting biomass fuels. In Uganda, 94.7% of households primarily use biomass fuels, with 32.7% cooking inside personal dwellings, causing severe respiratory illnesses induced by indoor air pollution (2).

 

In Canada, air-polluting fossil fuels still dominate the transportation sector in part due to vast geographic scale of the world’s second-largest country, and news outlets have widely reported individuals deciding to sell their electric trucks and cars mid-journey due to lack of EV-supportive infrastructure (3). Government investments are being made into increased electric vehicle charging stations to narrow the distances between charging points to improve the EV network (4).

 

Promising developments are being made worldwide towards creating reliable energy systems, including significant improvements made in Canada, sustainably utilizing the country’s abundant natural resources.

Renewable energy holds great national prominence, with 60% of electricity in Canada generated using hydro-electric systems (5). Canadian Federal Minister of the Environment Steven Guilbeault has also pledged to publish regulations requiring all energy generated in Canada to be produced from non-emitting sources by 2035 (6).

 

Encouraging progress has been made globally towards achieving SDG 7, however it is a long way from being fully achieved. In Least Developed Countries, lack of access to clean and reliable energy poses a genuine threat to human health and well-being. It is vital that stable infrastructure is put in place in Canada as well as globally, and that all current and future energy consumers perspectives and requirements be included to create an efficient, long-lasting system. Only through meaningful and diverse collaboration at local, national, and international levels can a just energy transition be achieved. 

 

Photo Credit: Osprey perched above Merrickville Hydro-electric Generating Station Dam, Ontario, Canada. Photo by F.N. Brown.


Sources:
1. Sustainable Development Goal 7. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 

https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal7

2. S. T. Wafula, A. Nalugya, H. Mendoza, W.K. Kansiime, T. Ssekamatte, A. W. Walekhwa, R. K. Mungambe, F. Walter, J. C. Ssempebwa, D. Musoke. 17 August 2023. Indoor air pollutants and respiratory symptoms among residents of an informal urban settlement in Uganda: A cross-sectional study. National Library of Medicine PLoS One. 2023; 18(8): e0290170. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10434877/

3. J. Crabb. 10 August 2023. Family ditches electric truck on drive from Winnipeg to Chicago after charging troubles. CBC News

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/electric-vehicle-trip-charging-infrastructure-1.6932074

4. Thierry Spiess. 31 March 2022. Updated Projections of Canada’s Public Charging Infrastructure Needs. Government of Canada-Natural Resources Canada

https://natural-resources.canada.ca/energy-efficiency/transportation-alternative-fuels/resource-library/updated-projections-canadas-public-charging-infrastructure-needs/24504

5. Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles-Canada.

23 August 2023. Government of Canada: Canada Energy Regulator.

https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/energy-markets/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles-canada.html#:~:text=More%20than%20half%20of%20the,of%20hydropower%20in%20the%20world.

6. M. Rabson. 20 July 2023. Canada’s looming power problem is massive and time is running out, report says.

Financial Post.

https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/renewables/canadas-looming-power-problem-is-massive-and-time-is-running-out-report-says

 
Osprey perched above Merrickville Hydro-electric Generating Station Dam, Ontario, Canada. Photo by F.N. Brown.

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8 Comments

SangHyeon Park

  • SangHyeon Park says :
    Hello, I'm mentor Sanghyeon.
    Canada is expected to move quickly to renewable energy thanks to its abundant resources and large territories. I hope Canada will quickly become carbon neutral and inspire other countries.
    Thank you for the brilliant article.
    Posted 28-09-2023 16:51

Emmanuel  Dassah

Godfred Owusu Bempah

Deeksha Ravi

  • Deeksha Ravi says :
    I understand what you mean by the infrastructure for EVs not being sound. India launched a Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles scheme 8 years ago but it hasn't taken off yet, reducing people's willingness to buy an EV.
    Posted 13-09-2023 19:46

Seeun Mentor

  • Seeun Mentor says :
    Hi, this is your mentor Seeun!
    I agree with your conclusion - it is very important that we work together at both local and international levels to increase energ security. Great article, and good work citing all your sources.
    Thank you, and good luck on your next article!
    Posted 12-09-2023 15:32

Fiona Brown

  • Fiona Brown says :
    Thank you for your kind comments @Bruno Troya and @Fidele Nyandwi!
    Posted 11-09-2023 00:08

Bruno Troya

  • Bruno Troya says :
    Fiona, your report on Energy Security in Canada and the World is truly inspiring! It's clear that we face significant challenges, but your dedication to highlighting the importance of sustainable energy and the progress being made is a shining example of our path forward. Let's keep pushing for a just energy transition together – your insights are a guiding light! 🌟🌍💡
    Posted 10-09-2023 01:01

Fidele Nyandwi

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