July 25, 2005

Atlantic Energy Ministers pledge greater co-operation

Energy Ministers from the Atlantic provinces, meeting in Charlottetown, PEI earlier this month, pledged to increase co-operation on energy efficiency. Their commitment follows up on a recommendation by the Council of Atlantic Premiers calling for joint development and implementation of an energy efficiency awareness campaign.

Energy efficiency programs are needed to help address the growing demand for electricity, which could increase by as much as 1,000 megawatts in Atlantic Canada in the next ten years. Reduction of emissions is also a direct result.

New Brunswick Energy Minister Bruce Fitch, who hosted the meeting, said it is more important than ever to establish this common front considering the ever-increasing price of fuels such as oil and other fossil fuels, and the need to do more to protect the environment in keeping with national and regional environment programs.

An energy efficiency working group will be set up to develop the detailed campaign, which will be designed to cover the entire Atlantic region.

Ministers also agreed to increase co-operation on renewable energy. While each of the individual provinces has, or is developing, its own strategy for renewable energy, the ministers recognized the potential benefits of greater sharing of renewable energy on a regional basis. They agreed to explore a framework to help achieve this goal.

This was the sixth meeting of Atlantic Ministers of Energy. Created by the Council of Atlantic Premiers, it advocates regional co-operation on electricity, oil and gas, renewable energy and other energy initiatives.

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