Technology and Policy Options for a Low-Emission Energy System in Canada

Climate change is a daunting and complex problem with potentially disastrous consequences. The evidence is clear: increased greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are causing pervasive changes to the Earth’s climate, and significant and rapid efforts will be needed to reduce these emissions in the coming decades. Any solution to this challenge will require major changes to how we produce and use energy.

To encourage a clearer understanding of potential solutions, Magna International Inc., asked the Council of Canadian Academies to assemble an expert panel to conduct an independent, evidence-based assessment to examine the technology and policy options for transitioning to a low-emission energy system in Canada.

Technology and Policy Options for a Low-Emission Energy System in Canada is an up-to-date, accessible review of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving Canada toward a low-emission future. It provides an overview of Canada’s energy system, an analysis of different energy sources and technologies, and an exploration of the public policies available to support a shift toward low-emission energy sources and technologies.

Key Findings

Overall the Panel acknowledged that the technologies to move toward a low-emission energy system, and the policies that promote the use of those technologies, already exist, are well-understood, and are constantly improving. In addition to examining these technologies and policies individually within the report, the Panel reached the following overarching conclusions:

  • Canada could achieve major emission reductions with the adoption of commercially available technologies.
  • Low-emission electricity is the foundation for low-emission energy systems.
  • A transition to a low-emission energy system is achievable with the right combination of stringent and flexible policies.

Report and Related Products:

The Expert Panel

The Expert Panel on Energy Use and Climate Change was co-chaired by Keith W. Hipel, FRSC, FCAE, University Professor, Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, and Paul R. Portney, Former Professor of Economics, University of Arizona and former President, Resources for the Future. For a complete list of panel members, visit the Expert Panel on Energy Use and Climate Change page.

Members of the Expert Panel on Energy Use and Climate Change

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Taylor, Program Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 263 or

For media inquiries, please contact:

Samantha Rae Ayoub, Communications and Publishing Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 256 or

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