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News & resources / Media / THE HILL TIMES: Cleaning up our emissions means government support for all low-emission energy
When compared to traditional sources, propane immediately reduces GHG emissions, improves indoor air quality, and has no land contamination threats when spilled.
OPINION | BY SHANNON WATT | March 16, 2023
The energy transition to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 is an ambitious deadline, and achieving our climate goals will require an all-hands-on-deck approach.
However, decarbonization is a dial and not a switch. It will take time for technologies to develop, resources to be available, and communities to accept change. But we can help turn the dial more quickly if we include all low-emission energy options now.
Furthermore, Canada’s vast and often remote landscape, coupled with a cold northern climate, highlights the importance of adopting a flexible and adaptable approach to energy policy that considers the needs and potential challenges in all parts of the country while ensuring affordability and energy choice.
Government policies must consider these factors and be realistic about the energy sources that will help us get there or we risk leaving a significant number of Canadians behind in the energy transition, particularly rural and remote Canadians.
Shannon Watt is the president and CEO of the Canadian Propane Association. Photograph courtesy of the CPA
Canada is fortunate. We have many low-carbon energy options that would ensure all Canadians have access to affordable and sustainable heating today, regardless of where they live. This includes lower-emission propane—available now with no new infrastructure or technology required. When compared to traditional sources, propane immediately reduces GHG emissions, improves indoor air quality, and has no land contamination threats when spilled. Propane is a better environmental choice and is not subject to power outages like electricity, making it one of the most reliable energy sources available.
In addition, as innovation and technology advance, renewable dimethyl ether and renewable propane, already produced in the United States with near zero emissions, will be options for Canadians with little to no changes to existing infrastructure.
The benefits of propane can be expanded even further than what we traditionally see today. It can replace diesel, provide reliable backup for wind and solar facilities, generate mobile power generation for the family farm, and power clean low-emission school buses for children. As energy’s “first responder,” it can also provide power when weather events cause other forms not to be available.
National Propane Day, taking place on March 21, recognizes the important role of propane as a low-emission energy source that is affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Canadian Propane Association members will be meeting with MPs on Parliament Hill to talk about the importance of including propane in government policy. All low-emission pathways must be a part of Canada’s clean energy future and reflect that the energy transformation will not look the same for Vancouver as it does for the Peawanuck community in northern Ontario or St. Brendan’s in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Clearly, propane has advantages, and we are calling on the government to recognize this low-carbon energy source as an important player in their energy policies.
To decarbonize the Canadian energy system effectively, we must ensure an equitable approach, one that is affordable and reliable for all Canadians.
A comprehensive approach will include propane and will help the country transition to clean energy responsibly and inclusively, ensuring energy security for all.
Shannon Watt is the president and CEO of the Canadian Propane Association.
The Hill Times
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We are quickly heading into winter, but propane heaters can help take the bite out of the cold. Follow the CPA’s safety tips to help ensure comfort and safety in the open air.