Today, QUEST Canada published its newest report, Enabling Low Carbon Energy Projects For Investment. The report is part of a broader research project that aims to support Canadian communities as they overcome barriers associated with the low-carbon energy transition.

The research project, also named Enabling Low Carbon Energy Projects For Investment (ELCEPI), launched in 2022 with the original objective to resolve community barriers to aggregate low-carbon energy initiatives to unlock capital from investors. Through an extensive research and interview process, QUEST Canada discovered that many communities face significant barriers in the early stages of project conception and require more awareness and understanding relating to aggregation. As a result, the report scope was expanded to investigate barriers throughout a project’s entire life cycle.

Early findings indicated that lower-income communities, particularly those with a history of marginalization and diversity, face unique challenges in project development. Findings also identified a disconnect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous projects. These conclusions significantly influenced the final report, whereby three recommendations were made to further low-carbon energy project investment in Canadian communities.

The report recommends partnership with Indigenous peoples and efforts, whereby allies acknowledge the harms caused by colonization and support Indigenous leadership and direction. Allyship requires engaging in respectful and meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities, listening to guidance and recommendations, and incorporating traditional ecological knowledge into decision-making processes.

The report also recommends institutionalizing the Leave No One Behind principle into all policies and practices. This entails incorporating the values and principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into the formal structures and processes of government so that they become an integral part of culture and decision-making.

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The report concludes by acknowledging that significant funding is available to support low-carbon energy initiatives, however many projects are not investment-ready. To address this challenge, the report recommends the establishment of a catalyst which mobilizes existing organizations, ideas, and resources and takes advantage of available funding.

“We’re very excited to announce and share our newest report, Enabling Low Carbon Energy Projects For Investment, detailing how Canadian communities can overcome barriers to a low-carbon energy future,” said Tonja Leach, executive director of QUEST Canada. “We know that Canadian communities play an outsized role in the low-carbon energy transition, but energy use and emissions are complex issues. It’s our hope that the recommendations outlined in this report are further explored as viable solutions for communities seeking and attaining low-carbon energy project investment.”

This project is made possible with funding support from Scotiabank.

For more information on this project, visit the Enabling Low Carbon Energy Projects For Investment project page.

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