Pellerin: 2020 Vision – How an Ottawa co-op aims to fight climate change

By Brigitte Pellerin, Ottawa Citizen, December 23, 2019

A fresh decade means fresh ideas. Beginning today, Brigitte Pellerin features some of the local people who are innovating – some in small ways, some in big ones, some in community-focused enterprises. Today: Aaron Thornell describes the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative.

Not every quixotic battle has to involve tilting at windmills. Striving for visionary ideals can mean regular folks banding together to tackle a common enemy. In this case, fighting climate change by investing in small-scale, sustainable, community-owned renewable energy projects.

Cervantes’ most famous character would have liked the work done by the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative. Founded in 2010, OREC gives people in Eastern Ontario the opportunity to invest in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote the democratization of energy production – and grow their nest eggs.

The City of Ottawa declared a climate emergency in April 2019, and the Ontario government plans to reduce our emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, a target in line with federal commitments. But how can we, regular folks with modest resources, do our part for the climate without feeling like Sancho Panza’s travelling companion?

Connect with us