P.E.I. could be 1st carbon-neutral province, says professor

While it might take time, a professor from McGill University thinks P.E.I. could and should become a carbon neutral province.

Catherine Potvin will meet with government officials after attending symposium

A line of turbines along the shore at a P.E.I. wind farm.
McGill University professor Catherine Potvin says P.E.I. should become the first carbon neutral province in Canada. (Pat Martel/CBC)

While it might take time, a professor from McGill University thinks P.E.I. could and should become a carbon-neutral province.

Catherine Potvin issued the challenge a year ago while attending a conference, and said provincial government officials now want to hear more.

"I actually never thought it would be acted upon but I'm coming back to P.E.I.," said Potvin.

Catherine Potvin will meet with government officials after a symposium in Charlottetown. (Angela Walker)

"[I'm] very happy to do so for a symposium on Prince Edward Island becoming carbon neutral, and then I'm meeting with government officials."

Potvin explained there is a misconception by many that low carbon energy transition would lead to misery when it actually can lead to many positive solutions. 

"You can make this transition without penalizing farmers," Potivin said, adding there are many things they can do to modernize and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Think tank to develop plan

Potvin said it has been difficult all across Canada to deal with the issue of the fossil fuel used by industries like farming and fishing. 

She added the best thing would be for a think tank to look at what is the best option for farmlands to develop a plan and getting it in place within two to three years.

Solar energy technology is improving, says Potvin. (Joe Fiorino/CBC News)

Potvin said she will tell government officials the world is moving in the direction of renewable energy.

"Renewable solar in particular is growing faster than any other sort of energy and all of the literature we are reviewing are showing the first ones will be the most competitive ones," she said.

Potvin said now is the time to for P.E.I. to take the lead to become the first carbon-neutral province in Canada. 

Potivin will speak Thursday at a symposium called, Making the Case for the Island as a Carbon-Neutral Province at UPEI.


  • In an earlier version of this story, it stated Potvin would be speaking Wednesday. The presentation is actually Thursday evening.
    Oct 25, 2017 10:21 AM AT

With files from Island Morning