Simon A. Fish is Chair of the BMO Climate Institute. Dr. Laurence B. Mussio is the chair of the Long Run Institute. They were co-chairs at the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s Calibrating the Climate Transition Symposium in May.
In the past month, The Globe and Mail produced more than 160 articles on climate change, featuring everything from heat waves, to class-action lawsuits, to plans for sweeping total emissions reductions in the oil and gas and agricultural sectors.
A major theme has focused on the challenge of matching our climate aspirations and emissions targets to stubborn realities. In other words, the effects and trade-offs are both coming into sharper view.
The conversations unfold in what is often a highly judgmental environment generated by the perceived urgency of the moment. Many sector players dare not speak up and put themselves in the line of fire, often feeling under attack. They are therefore not as engaged as they should be.
Policy makers on the hook for big change seem to suspect business’s climate commitment – sometimes from past experience. As a result, they have difficulty understanding what business needs to get on board. That means our national conversation about our energy transition can appear dysfunctional, alternating between collaboration and confrontation.