Summit highlights future of energy, environment in Sarnia-Lambton

Sarnia-Lambton Energy and Environment Summit at Lambton College. May 17, 2022. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

The first energy and environmental summit held at Lambton College in over a decade has exceeded expectations and Sarnia’s mayor hopes it will become an annual event.

The Sarnia-Lambton Energy and Environment Summit was held at the Lambton College Events Centre Tuesday morning.

The four-hour-long conference was held in partnership between various stakeholders and industry leaders including Bluewater Association for Safety, Environment, and Sustainability (BASES), Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

The last time this summit was held at the college was in 2004. 

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said a summit wasn’t held for so long as many “things were in motion” with Lambton College, the research park, and industries.

“We’ve had such a good run achieving some successes in the last few years that we didn’t have to do this,” he said. “But now it’s time to regroup and strategize because the world is changing so quickly on us with climate change and legislation … We don’t have the luxury of sitting back for five or 10 years, we need to act now.”

One of the goals discussed during Tuesday’s summit was how Sarnia-Lambton plans to embrace Canada’s goal of moving toward net zero emissions by 2050.

Bradley said there was an overall excitement from attendees to offer ideas and input in regards to respecting existing industries while taking a proactive approach from an environmental standpoint.

“The industry that’s part of that discussion says ‘you have got to keep moving, you’ve got to find other solutions, you’ve got to look at the net zero economy, you’ve got to look at the green economy.’ We’re doing that but I think what I’m hearing today is we need to move quicker,” said Bradley.

Approximately 50 people attended the summit.