FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IPCC Report Impacts for Manitoba
Local Climate Expert Releasing First-of-its-Kind
Energy Solutions Study at Annual ManSEA Conference
The report released yesterday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) offers a dire summary of our planet’s future, but a new first-of-its-kind study shows how Manitoba could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while benefitting Manitoba’s society and economy.
“We really need to get past the idea that taking serious climate action is something to be afraid of”, says local climate expert Curt Hull, Project Director of Climate Change Connection. “There are very large opportunities right now in our province to reduce our climate pollution and benefit our economy at the same time. It’s further inaction that should scare us”.
This report, researched and written by Manitoba’s Climate Action Team is the first of its kind to show how our province can obtain enough low-carbon electricity to replace nearly all fossil fuel use on a timeline that meets the climate science findings of the IPCC.
“Most Manitobans will likely be surprised to learn that over 70% of the total energy we use each year comes from imported fossil fuels”, advises Hull. “The best thing we can do is transition our vehicles and buildings to low-carbon electricity, and our study shows how this can happen without needing any new hydro dams or future technology. The solutions exist now.”
Economic considerations played a key role in the design of this study and assessment of energy options.
“We know people are suffering economically. First with COVID, then inflation, and now Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has been a very hard time for households and businesses alike.”, says Hull. “Our energy solutions report shows how we can save everyone money, boost our economy, and create thousands of new jobs per year without raising taxes or increasing debt.”
Hull says the economic impacts are so positive it should be possible to freeze Hydro rates for several years.
“With the carbon tax increasing the price of fossil fuels and annual rate increases ramping up the cost of electricity, people lose no matter what energy option they choose”, observes Hull. “By freezing rates, we give everyone a financial break and also create a real incentive to use low-carbon electricity.”
Summary of Manitoba Energy Solutions Report:
1. Return exported electricity to Manitoba
2. Make buildings more energy-efficient and convert them to geothermal heat pumps for heating/cooling. Install rooftop solar panels wherever feasible.
3. Build more wind farms
4. Build more solar farms 5.
5. Increase energy storage by returning exported capacity, using electric vehicles and by constructing new commercial scale battery-based energy storage facilities.
Taken together, implementing these climate actions will achieve the following by 2050:
• Reduce Manitoba's annual climate pollution by roughly 13,000,000 tonnes CO2e (~60% of provincial total) • Create enough low-carbon electricity to cut emissions by 50% in 2030 and by 100% by 2050 in our building and road transportation sectors
• Generate net savings for Manitoba households and businesses
• Increase Manitoba Hydro's annual revenue without raising rates
• Make it possible to freeze Hydro rates for several years in a row, while carbon prices continue to rise • Improve the climate resiliency of our provincial electricity grid through energy diversification • Create a net increase in employment of several hundred thousand job-years
• Enhance government revenues without increasing taxes; and,
• Grow the provincial economy by tens of billions of dollars by 2050