15.3 Reconciling discourse and reality: a shared responsibility

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These observations, drawn from the modelling results as well as an analysis of the recent evolution of Canada’s energy system and GHG emissions, should concern all Canadians. Canada’s constitution means that the power of defining climate goals and the responsibility for reaching them are shared by many orders of governments. Over the last two decades, these governments have worked mainly in silos, largely ignoring what the level above or below or the other jurisdictions were doing. This approach, which was accompanied by billions of dollars in subsidies and support of all kinds, has largely failed to deliver the promised transformations. 

As this Outlook suggests, continuing with this approach will not enable Canada to reach the GHG targets it has adopted. The depth and speed of transformation needed to do so requires strategy, coordination and efficiency that is almost unheard of in Canada. Nonetheless, as demonstrated, this is not impossible. From a purely techno-economic point of view, this transformation is affordable and realistic. However, it requires governments, industry and citizens to think and act boldly and in the most open fashion, to accept risk and failure, to embrace change, and to understand that we cannot wait for the perfect solution before we begin to take action.