Last Updated on October 19, 2022
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gleefully told an audience at a recent climate change event that the war in Ukraine is “accelerating” the “energy transition” away from fossil fuels.
Speaking with Bloomberg’s Akshat Rathi, Trudeau was asked if the war would “delay Canada’s energy transition,” to which he replied “No! It’s accelerating it.”
“It is absolutely accelerating it. As people are saying, ‘Wow, we built an economic model and prosperity in some parts of the world, including in Europe, that was reliant on energy inputs from Russia,’ as they have to get off of that,” Trudeau stated. “People are realizing, ok, getting off of Russian oil and gas means getting onto more oil and gas to replace that from elsewhere.’”
“But it’s also showing, ok, we need to accelerate our moves off of oil and gas our moves to decarbonize the gas at least,” he continued, “so that we can actually not be reliant on Russia but, more than that, not be reliant as democracies on autocracies.”
Trudeau — who declared his nation’s version of martial law to crush peaceful protests earlier this year — then claimed that western nations have been “underpinning” their economies on dictatorships such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.
“We a lot of time since the beginning of the war in Ukraine pointing out that democracies with freedoms, rights, thoughtful capitalist models, are the best solution for people around the world,” Trudeau said. “And, yes, you should all become democracies, except for sort of avoiding the fact that underpinning those democracies is a reliance on cheap energy and cheap raw material inputs from countries that do not share our values or our approach.”
Energy shortages stemming from the war in Ukraine have continued to affect European Union member states, who are currently scrambling for alternative sources of fossil fuels.
Trudeau argued that the war in Ukraine could present an opportunity for Canada to become a global leader in exporting rare earth minerals needed for electric vehicles.
“That’s where Canada comes in, right, where we actually have the kinds of resources that you find in a Russia or a China but we have labor standards, we have environmental standards, we have democracy, we have human rights, we recognize our challenges and mistakes and we work to tackle them,” he said.
“We spent a lot of time talking about the imperative of fighting climate change, the challenge of fighting climate change, and it is only more recently that the opportunities we talked about that would come seven years ago we’re starting to see,” Trudeau argued.