The Conference Board of Canada is planning to use an iterative process of qualitative research, engagement, and quantitative research, all supported by a well-defined communications plan, to forge compromise on fair and effective policy recommendations for a wide range of energy issues (see below) and to help promote these consensus recommendations to all levels of government, other key stakeholders, and the general public.
Qualitative research, including interviews, focus groups and public opinion tracking tools, and surveys, will be important to identify major areas of disagreement and potential compromise among various stakeholders on any given issue.
- Engagement, such as roundtables, conferences, speaking engagements, and other forums, will allow us to explore creative ideas for change and help to build compromise recommendations among the different groups. This constant engagement process will be supported by all the online and traditional tracking tools.
- Quantitative research, the forte of the Conference Board, will allow us to measure the potential costs and benefits of different proposed recommendations on individual stakeholders, sectors, and the Canadian economy as a whole, and to identify the most fair and effective policies and actions moving forward.
Key to these efforts will be to integrate the range of policy recommendations into a coherent road map that can inform policy-makers at all levels of government on Canada’s economic transition journey.
Priority Engagement and Research Areas
The Centre on the Low-Carbon Growth Economy (LCG) will focus on engagement of all stakeholders through a number of methods: online interaction and social media; polling and surveys of stakeholders and members; speaking engagements and forums; scheduled roundtables and conferences; and face-to-face interaction. These will all feed into establishing the appropriate research agenda, as well as provide a constant feedback loop to its stakeholders.
The major themes below reflect the discussion currently taking place across Canada. A detailed work plan for the Centre will be developed by Conference Board staff, working closely with the steering group.
The Centre will also focus on engagement and communications with all stakeholders through a number of methods including online interaction and social media; polling and surveys of stakeholders and members; speaking engagements and forums; roundtables, research collaboration, and conferences; and face-to-face interaction. This engagement will be closely linked to the research agenda and provide a feedback loop within LCG and with other actors in the field.
- Defining a low-carbon future. The global economy is reducing its carbon footprint. This provides opportunities within Canada to learn from others, reshape our energy/economy relationship, and build a global reputation as a supplier of lowercarbon commodities, goods, and services.
- Transitioning to a sustainable energy future. Many organizations are focusing on sustainability. LCG will engage them, draw upon their work, and continue the research to ensure that the road map is properly balanced between community, environment, and economy.
- Identifying business best practices. Using evidence-based research, surveys, case studies, and other techniques, the Centre will identify business best practices when it comes to reducing the greenhouse gas footprint of firms, their suppliers, value chains, and clients. A Business Roundtable on Low-Carbon Best Practices will be formed under the Centre to provide a forum for discussion of the research, implications, and implementation by business. The roundtable will also use analysis and engagement to identify domestic and international business opportunities in the low-carbon economy.
- Fostering intelligent energy use. Future sustainability depends on smarter energy use. LCG can address themes such as energy efficiency, building codes, conservation, and urban design. The road map will include measures to redesign the way society uses energy.
- Creating effective and fair partnership. Canada’s Indigenous peoples are directly affected by how we produce, transport, and use energy. LCG will contribute to building partnerships that serve the interests of all parties.
- Building infrastructure. Much of Canada’s infrastructure needs renewal, including our energy infrastructure. LCG will focus on ways to rebuild and expand infrastructure that support low-carbon growth. It will also examine the role infrastructure plays in making the best use of our energy endowment in all forms.
- Advancing regulation. Regulatory processes are increasingly dominated by policy questions. LCG will focus on research and solutions that include balanced and effective public engagement on both policy development and regulatory oversight.
- Building public trust. Numerous opinion surveys indicate that the public has very low trust in government, regulators, and industry. The LCG road map will include measures to build trust through performance, consensus building, education, and other means.