The world is moving toward a global, net-zero economy in order to address the existential threat of climate change. This transition is generating a significant increase in demand for clean energy and technologies, and the raw materials that enable them.
Concurrent geopolitical dynamics, including Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, demonstrate the need for like-minded countries to have stable and secure supplies of these technologies and resources – produced in a way that is compatible with climate and nature goals and in meaningful consultation and partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
This need presents a generational economic opportunity for Canada – and the Government of Canada is working to seize this opportunity to make Canada a clean energy and technology supplier of choice in a net-zero world. To that end, this week the Government of Canada announced historic investments through Budget 2023 in clean energy, including incentives and tax measures to support clean electricity, clean hydrogen and critical minerals.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, brought this message to the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) this week in Berlin, Germany. Minister Wilkinson was joined by a Canadian trade mission featuring more than 15 Canadian companies, organizations, Indigenous communities and representatives seeking to pursue commercial opportunities in clean energy.
During the three-day mission, Minister Wilkinson pursued three objectives in pursuit of this generational economic opportunity for Canada. They were:
- Getting Canadian clean energy to Europe. To this end, the Minister:
○ together with Vice Chancellor of Germany Robert Habeck, announced that Canada and Germany are taking the next steps in the Canada-Germany Joint Declaration on Hydrogen to advance four strategic areas of mutual interest under an Action Plan, namely:
i. working toward global standards for carbon intensity certification and social ecological sustainability, recognizing existing legislation and regulations as well as progress under multilateral fora;
ii. exploring port-to-port collaboration;
iii. identifying Canadian and German measures to accelerate investments in hydrogen projects including to manage project risk; and
iv. establishing platforms to raise and address issues related to hydrogen development, trade and industrial transition.
○ advanced multilateral discussions on clean hydrogen trade with key allies such as Germany and France to:
i. accelerate production and export of clean hydrogen; and
ii. develop global carbon intensity and sustainability standards to facilitate trade in clean hydrogen between Canada and all its international partners.
- Accelerating energy transition policies and bolstering energy security in Europe. To this end, the Minister:
○ profiled the work being advanced under Mr. Wilkinson’s chairmanship of the International Energy Agency’s Ministerial Task Force on Gas and Clean Fuels Market Monitoring and Supply Security;
○ highlighted Canada’s donation of seven electrical transformers to help repair Ukraine’s power grid, enabling Ukrainians to power their homes and use the most basic appliances; this donation will follow the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s donation of 12 large generators and 12 smaller ones to support the Ukraine media, delivered in March 2023.
○ met with European counterparts to discuss the importance of taking action to advance energy transition and security and of ensuring secure and sustainable critical minerals supply chains; and
○ met with German Galushchenko, Ukraine’s Energy Minister, to discuss Canada’s ongoing support to strengthen Ukraine’s natural resource supply chains and ensure energy security, including nuclear. This discussion builds upon work between Canada and Ukraine, including Minister Wilkinson’s membership in the High-Level Energy Advisory Council (IEAC).
- Strengthening business-to-business ties between Canada and Germany in the area of energy and resources. To this end, the Minister:
○ together with Vice Chancellor Habeck, convened industry leaders to strengthen clean energy and sustainable critical minerals trade and investment ties between our countries; and
○ profiled the important role Indigenous communities are playing in the development of clean energy and sustainable critical minerals projects.
Minister Wilkinson’s efforts in Berlin build on recent productive visits from key European leaders to Canada, including:
● German Chancellor Scholz’s visit to Quebec, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador in August 2022; and
● European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s visit to Ontario in March 2023.
Canada and Germany are like-minded global partners with a shared commitment to bolstering multilateralism and the rules-based international order. This week’s mission to Berlin was part of a series of significant steps the Government of Canada continues to take to create good jobs across Canada while supporting its international allies and fighting climate change. Canada and Germany enjoy a close and friendly partnership, reflected in our active cooperation on the international stage as well as a strong economic and investment relationship.
Next month, Minister Wilkinson will travel with the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to Sapporo, Japan, for the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment. There, Minister Wilkinson will continue to work with all partners to establish Canada as the global supplier of choice for clean energy in a net-zero world – ensuring a prosperous and clean future for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.