Energy Future Forum, an offshoot of the Public Policy Forum think tank, wants Canadians to dial down the rhetoric on energy and climate change, and wants policy-makers to focus on objective, evidence-based policies to navigate the inevitable transition to a low-carbon economy.
The new organization was formally launched at an inaugural meeting on December 16, 2019 in Toronto. More than 30 participants from the federal and Alberta governments, energy companies, environmental groups, the finance industry, Indigenous groups, universities and research specialists attended. Royal Bank of Canada, Suncor Energy, Hydro-Québec and the Ivey Foundation were designated foundational partners of Energy Future Forum.
“History is moving in a direction; it will take some time to arrive at its destination; public opinion is jumping ahead as climate effects move from the realm of the scientific to lived experience,” wrote Public Policy Forum President and CEO Ed Greenspon to the founding members of Energy Future Forum on December 11, 2019, days before the new organization was formally launched.
Greenspon said two streams of thought have evolved in Canadian policy, and neither is speaking with the other. One recognizes the importance of energy development to the Canadian economy, but pays insufficient heed to public urgency around climate change, particularly among young millennials. The other, justifiably worried about the growing risks posed by climate change, ignores the lessons of history that energy transitions, whether from animal power to water, from steam to electricity, or from fossil fuels to renewables, take time and proceed unevenly.
One of the goals of the Energy Future Forum will be to reconcile these two streams of thought.
Meetings will be held at least three times a year over the next three years in locations across Canada.