Canadian minister sheds light on sustainable energy at QU forum

December 14, 2012 - 6:59:28 am

DOHA: Qatar University (QU) College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) recently held a discussion forum on “Sustainable Energy and the Future: Canadian Insights” presented by the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Alberta, Canada, Diana McQueen.

Minister McQueen gave students insights into her country’s activities on sustainable resource development and highlighted developments in Qatar toward environment protection and conservation.    

The event was part of the College’s Distinguished Seminar Series.  

Commenting on Canada’s experience in environment preservation, the minister said:  “This is a unique experience, as it is the third largest country that has large reserves of natural gas. We were able to overcome the challenges by our will and the support of the people.”

She noted that the greatest of these challenges was maintaining clean air and water and explained that their plans are to address them by finding alternative ways of energy.  “One of the major projects is the extraction of oil from oil sands which are called tar sands,” she said.

 Stressing on the importance of energy conservation for sustainability, the minister pointed to one of Canada’s most important projects which exploit natural energy, such as wind power, that has no impact on the environment.

She also stressed the importance of public awareness and guidance on preserving the environment, by not wasting water and maintaining air quality. The Canadian government imposes a carbon tax which helps in the implementation of environment and development projects in the country, she said.

The minister also drew reference to QU’s campaign to conserve water on the campus.  She told the students: “Qatar has the capacity to make great strides and reach high goals.  You are the future leaders of this. This is the reason we are here – to share our experience in the culture of environment and development with societies around the world.” 

“I appreciated where the minister stated that what they are doing is not only for Canada but for the entire world. Moreover, she liked the fact that Qatar and Canada have a lot in common regarding sustainable development,” said Sara Ahmad Al Qahtani, a CAS international affairs student. 

“The students’ interest and knowledge about the subject and the ease with which they participated in the discussion with minister McQueen is testament to the quality of education they are receiving at QU. The Distinguished Seminar Series is an important forum for them to be exposed to expert opinions from a global perspective and to interact with accomplished individuals like the minister,” said CAS Dean Dr Eiman Mustafawi. The Peninsula