“If we want to seize the opportunities that are associated with the energy
transition, we need to be more nimble,” Mr. Wilkinson said. “It cannot
take us 12 years to get new mines into production. It just can’t.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has done his part to light a fire under Canada so that it becomes a major clean-energy exporter.
Now, it’s up to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his ministers and his provincial counterparts to prove they’re capable of overcoming this country’s inertia in building new industries – and fast enough to compete for the business of nations trying to secure a sustainable long-term energy supply.
Despite lots of public discussion around Canada’s potential to supply natural gas to replace Russian imports, Mr. Scholz’s visit the past couple of days was designed by both countries to first and foremost highlight hunger for Canadian-produced green hydrogen – the emerging fuel source, especially for heavy industry, that Germany is counting on to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels altogether.
That demand is not exactly new: Germany has been less showily signalling it since even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upped the urgency. But heading into this week, officials from both countries suggested that a stronger message was needed to get through layers of Canadian government moving at an oddly leisurely pace, given the stakes.