Content courtesy of Pembina
National Adaptation Strategy
Earlier in May, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced that public consultation would begin on Canada’s first ever National Adaptation Strategy, which aims to “advance a shared vision for climate resilience in Canada.” Provinces like British Columbia are also doing important work on this front.
Federal and provincial governments could make the biggest impact by making a major investment in improving Canada’s existing housing stock. This could be accomplished by providing funding and incentives to renovate a third of our country’s buildings to net-zero emissions by 2030, and developing a plan for the remaining stock to meet a 100% net-zero target before 2050.
Replacing old furnaces with efficient heat pumps can both capture heat and provide cooling. Replacing windows, adding insulation and bringing in more fresh air also makes residents safer and more comfortable as we face increasingly frequent heat waves and polar vortexes. The building sector is the third largest contributor to carbon pollution in Canada. Heating is a major contributor to that; over half of the energy used for space heating and air-cooling comes from burning fossil fuels.
These renovations have the potential to reduce energy costs and lower emissions, improve the health of residents and create thousands of well-paying jobs. They also have the potential to make our housing stock more resistant to the effects of climate change.