New book examines decarbonization, sustainability in Canadian energy systems 

water and renewable energy

A new book co-edited by York University Professor Mark Winfield, of the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change, explores pathways to decarbonization and sustainability in Canadian energy systems.

Mark Winfield
Mark Winfield

The book Sustainable Energy Transitions in Canada addresses the urgent need for Canadian energy systems to adapt and evolve to respond to the challenge of climate change while advancing sustainability. The transition needs to decarbonize energy systems while promoting social justice and respecting local cultures.

The collection – edited by Winfield and colleagues Stephen D. Hill of Trent University and James R. Gaede (PhD Carleton, now research manager with Efficiency Canada) – brings together a range of perspectives on decarbonization and energy system transitions, from energy and economic modellers to Indigenous practitioners in remote First Nations and Inuit communities. It explores key concepts like energy justice, decolonization of energy, community energy planning and the role of energy systems modelling. Additionally, it provides a series of case studies covering Canada’s major regions and key sectors, such as transportation and space heating. 

The books highlight the complexities of implementing top-down policy measures versus bottom-up, community-driven approaches. Further, it emphasizes how significant global events like the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical conflicts impact energy transitions. Throughout the book’s discussions, the editors stress the necessity of aligning decarbonization efforts with broader sustainability goals for Canada’s economy and society.  

The book is a valuable resource for scholars, practitioners and policymakers involved in climate change, energy transitions, sustainability and environmental policy. It is also recommended for advanced courses on climate change, energy and environmental policy, and individuals looking for crucial insights into navigating Canada’s evolving energy landscape.

An open-access edition of the volume is available to facilitate adoptions in senior undergraduate and graduate courses in climate change and energy policy, economics, law and politics.  

Winfield is a professor of environmental and urban change, and co-chair of the Sustainable Energy Initiative at York University. He is the author of Blue-Green Province: The Environment and the Political Economy of Ontario.

Find the book here.