Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! The world can be a crazy place, but we do — in the big picture — have much to be thankful for. Enjoy the time with family and friends, and a week of turkey dinner leftovers.
Today I’ll just post a link to my Clean Break column, which argues that green-minded Canadians heading to the polls tomorrow would be best to vote for the federal Liberals if they hope to see any action on climate change and development of a cleaner, more energy-efficient economy. Now is the time to begin taxing pollution and using that money to tackle poverty, stimulate the economy, and ultimately help Canadian households and businesses operate more efficiently, while at the same time accelerating green innovation that could serve us at home and others abroad.
From the perspective of a green-technology advocate, one could just as easily support the Green Party and, to a lesser extent, NDP on this issue, but the Liberals are the most likely to defeat the federal Conservatives, which have proven in their two years of power that they don’t take green job creation or climate change seriously. This is an important federal election, coming at a time when even the U.S. is likely to vote in a new president — i.e. Obama — who has declared energy and green-economy building as his top priority.
I want to know what readers of Clean Break think about the credit crisis and its impact — existing or potential — on the development and deployment of renewable energy and clean technologies.
One could argue it might help, because big-budget nuclear and clean coal projects will have more difficulty raising the money — i.e. debt financing — to push these megaprojects forward. In such a situation, renewables, conservation and combined heat and power projects could be viewed as the least risky and therefore most worth pursuing. On the other hand, the credit crunch could hit big wind and solar projects with equal impact, and force governments to make a greater commitment to backstopping nuclear and other conventional projects with taxpayers’ dollars.
And what do venture capitalists think about all this? Does the crunch affect how they allocation money, or their ability to raise it? Does it make life more difficult for cleantech startups in need of financing?
If you have any insights or opinions to share, I welcome it…
The Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) is currently accepting applications for companies wishing to compete in its annual Canada’s Top 10 Competition. The competition has been around since 1999, but was initially focused on life sciences companies. It has since expanded to include the Top 10 innovators in the cleantech and IT sectors. Continue reading Tech development group issues call for top cleantech firms