*Content Courtesy of Pembina Institute
A pledge for a low-carbon, competitive economy.
The time is now to invest in a healthier, more resilient future that leaves no one behind.
The pandemic has made it plainly clear that our health, economy and environment are intricately linked. The Throne Speech included the following on “Building back better – a resiliency agenda for the middle class”.
“As we fight for every Canadian and defend everyone’s ability to succeed, we also need to focus on the future, and on building back better. This forms the third foundation of the Government’s approach. Around the world, advanced economies are realizing that things should not go back to business as usual. COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerabilities in our societies. The Government will create a resiliency agenda for the middle class and people working hard to join it. This will include addressing the gaps in our social systems, investing in health care, and creating jobs. It will also include fighting climate change, and maintaining a commitment to fiscal sustainability and economic growth as the foundation of a strong and vibrant society.”
“Governments across the globe will spend billions of dollars to rebuild their economies; the time is now to invest in a healthier, more resilient future that leaves no one behind.”
We commend the efforts of the Canadian government to provide relief to Canadians through these difficult times. This must remain the nation’s top priority. We also commend the government’s efforts to align recovery efforts to date with climate objectives and for standing strong on pillars of the climate plan like carbon pricing and the clean fuel standard.
In this they aren’t alone. Over the past few months an unprecedented level of broadly-based support has emerged across diverse groups, including business, the financial sector, the environmental sector, labour, and local communities for public investment in a green recovery as a strategy for creating more resilient jobs, communities, and economic opportunities. There are promising indications our government will build on its early first steps and provide clarity of direction for investors here and abroad.
To accelerate the transition toward job creation in a low-carbon and globally competitive economy, Canada should take a number of important steps;
- Invest in building an inclusive net-zero workforce
- Focus training efforts on groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and in sectors of the Canadian economy that face new challenges in a world that is decarbonizing.
- Grow employment opportunities in sectors and services that will be in demand as the world seeks to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- Invest in resilient, job-intensive, clean and natural infrastructure
- Grow economic activity in sectors with high jobs per dollar investment ratios, like retrofitting existing, and building affordable but more energy efficient and climate-resilient, homes and buildings.
- Build the transportation and energy infrastructure that will enable Canada to extend clean electrification leadership to non-emitting movement of passengers and goods.
- Further decarbonize Canada’s electricity system through updated infrastructure, clean energy technologies, improved connectivity between provinces, and small-scale renewable energy generation
- Support Indigenous and community-based leadership in the development and deployment of new strategies for ecosystem health and restoration for climate resilience and economic diversification.
- Invest in the development of industries and businesses producing, and scaling up the use of, goods and services that are low- and non-emitting
- Align support across sectors with commitments and plans to meet net-zero emissions.
- Grow Canadian leadership in manufacturing sectors that are already in demand, such as near-zero and zero-emissions vehicles.
- Support self-sufficiency in Canadian communities by developing the decentralized, clean supply chains, such as batteries and building retrofit components.
- Grow Canadian exports of clean technology and clean energy.
- Grow Canadian expertise and next generation technology for emissions reduction in large, carbon-intensive industrial sectors
- Invest in low- and non-emitting goods and services