Trudeau: ‘We Need Both Pipelines and Wind Turbines'

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By Jeremy Hainsworth

March 2 — Canada pledged new investments of C$75 million ($55.7 million) to help municipalities address climate change infrastructure challenges, and C$50 million ($37.2 million) for green building projects, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced March 2.

Speaking at the GLOBE 2016 environment and business conference in Vancouver, Trudeau also said he believes the country's clean energy sector and fossil fuel producers can coexist as the country grows.

“We need both pipelines and wind turbines,” he said.

But Trudeau said traditional resources must be developed in a way that is clean and efficient to meet climate change challenges. And he said investment for clean energy research is expected to double in the next five years.

“We must show leadership and courage as we tackle climate change,” he said. “This is the great global challenge of our time.”

Canada's oil industry has remained hampered by a shortage of pipelines to move oil from Alberta's oil sands due to delays in the approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain and Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines, as well as U.S. President Barack Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The shortage has led to an increase of oil by rail.

Trudeau said Canada would respond to demands to develop fossil fuel responsibly while the world is in an energy transition phase.

“All the legislation and executive power in the world won't make a difference unless we all step up together,” he said.

The C$75 million in new funding for climate resiliency will go to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In addition, C$50 million will go “to improve climate resilience in building and infrastructures codes across Canada,” the government said.

Trudeau is to meet March 3 with provincial and indigenous leaders during the conference.

Also speaking at the conference, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark touted the province's C$30 ($22) per metric ton carbon tax, the highest in Canada, up from C$10 ($7.40) when its program was introduced in 2008.

She announced C$11.9 million ($8.85 million) in funding from the province's Innovative Clean Energy Fund for three programs aimed at promoting clean-energy vehicles, clean air and clean water.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hainsworth in Vancouver at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson at ghenderson@bna.com