2023-24 Departmental Plan

From the Minister

The Honourable Steven Guibeault

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P., Minister of Environment and Climate Change

As the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, I am pleased to present the 2023–2024 Departmental Plan.

This plan outlines strategic actions that Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is taking to support clean growth, address climate change, help prevent and manage pollution, conserve nature, and predict weather and environmental conditions.

Our changing climate and its growing consequences to Canadians and Indigenous communities, economies and our way of life is the challenge of our generation. However, if we continue to address this challenge thoughtfully and collaboratively, a cleaner, healthier, more efficient, and affordable net-zero future for Canadians is possible. That is why, in 2023, ECCC will continue its work to implement and collectively increase climate action so we can achieve Canada’s climate objectives, advance Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy, and deliver climate services.

Supporting a whole-of-government effort to implement the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy (ERP) will be a focus in 2023-24. This will ensure that Canada continues to make progress toward the achievement of Canada’s 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution of 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, while building a clean and prosperous economy and making life more affordable for Canadians. ECCC will maintain its collaboration with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous peoples, and businesses to help position Canada for success in implementing the ERP and other climate action programs such as the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate change, and to achieve Canada’s climate objectives by advancing consultations leading to the finalization of Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy. We will also continue to implement the requirement of the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act and collaborate closely with Global Affairs Canada to maintain our work with international partners to implement the Paris Agreement.

Following the constructive role Canada played at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the Department will continue to demonstrate strong climate leadership both domestically and internationally in 2023-24. In order to do so, ECCC will carry on the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Approach to pricing carbon pollution by continuing to apply the Federal Output-based Pricing System. In addition, we will continue to deliver the Low Carbon Economy Fund and the Climate Action and Awareness Fund to promote and facilitate action and clean growth.

By protecting nature, we protect the true value of our heritage. Therefore, ECCC will continue to work with the Parks Canada Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and in partnership with Indigenous peoples, on an ambitious plan to conserve 25% of lands and 25% of oceans in Canada by 2025, working toward 30% by 2030.

Last December, Canada demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to addressing the crisis of biodiversity loss by welcoming delegates from 196 member states to Montreal for the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. After two weeks of intense negotiations, Parties adopted the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework, which will guide biodiversity conservation and sustainable use efforts globally to 2030, an historic achievement for nature. In 2023-24, to align domestic actions with the new global Framework, ECCC will lead work with federal partners in engaging provinces and territories, economic sectors, Indigenous groups, and others to update Canada’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. As part of these efforts, ECCC will continue to work with Parks Canada Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on an ambitious plan to conserve 25% of lands and 25% of oceans in Canada by 2025, working toward 30% by 2030.

We are developing nature agreements with interested provinces and territories to advance shared interests in more integrated and collaborative approaches to conserving nature, establishing more protected areas, and protecting and recovering species at risk and their habitat. The Department also remains committed to meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples through the implementation of programs that support indigenous climate leadership, reconciliation and Indigenous-led Guardians initiatives and the development of national Indigenous Guardians Networks. The Department will continue to renew nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous peoples as part of the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Approach and the federal Species at Risk Act.

In 2023–24, the Department continues to forge ahead on development of transformative policies that will ensure a sustainable and environmentally responsible energy supply for Canadians. ECCC will continue to take a strategic approach to reduce the environmental impact of its own operations and procurement practices. Part of this approach includes leading Canada’s agenda to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030 and the transition to a circular plastics economy by diverting at least 75% of plastic and non-hazardous operational waste from landfills by 2030.

ECCC will continue to support science, promote innovation, and employ the tools available under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to ensure that plastics remain in the economy and out of the environment. We will also continue our work with provinces, territories, and industry to implement the 2018 Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste and Action Plan.

In 2023-24, ECCC will provide support in the development of a new Canada Water Agency so that we may find the best ways to sustain efforts to protect freshwater sources across Canada. We will also develop regulations to reduce air pollutant emissions from industrial sources, vehicles, and commercial products so that we may protect the well-being of Canadians and meet standards set by the Air Quality Health Index and the Air Quality Management System. Preventing and managing pollution is an ongoing core responsibility of ECCC and we are committed to upholding Canada’s role in international air quality treaties with the goal of reducing air pollution.

We will continue to improve weather and climate predictions through innovations in technology infrastructure and service so that we can develop tailored communications for Canadians about the weather. ECCC will also evaluate new technologies for our monitoring to meet evolving requirements and improve services in key areas so that Canadians will be informed and therefore equipped to handle weather and environmental changes. Meteorologists will continue to demonstrate excellence in forecasting and focus their attention on the storms that have the potential to affect Canada, such as the record-breaking Hurricane Fiona that tracked through Atlantic Canada in September 2022.

In 2023–24, ECCC will complete the Government of Canada’s $180.4 million Canadian Weather Radar Replacement Program to replace outdated technology with 33 new state-of-the-art radars.

As climate change increases the frequency of droughts and floods, ECCC will invest in modernizing national water monitoring for Canadians.

We have an ambitious year ahead of us that continues to push environmental sustainability alongside economic well-being. I invite you to read this plan for details on the priorities of ECCC, and our commitment to deliver on them as we work toward a cleaner and more prosperous future.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Plans at a glance

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is the lead federal department for action on environmental matters essential to the health and well-being of Canadians and the environment, including: promoting clean growth and mitigating climate change; preventing and managing pollution; conserving nature; and predicting weather and environmental conditions to support informed decision making and risk management. The Department’s strategic approach to program design and delivery reflects the interdependence of environmental sustainability and socio-economic well-being. To achieve its objectives, ECCC works in partnership with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous peoples and organizations, other federal departments and agencies, and communities across Canada in a manner that respects the Government’s commitment to openness, effectiveness and transparency.

Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change

Addressing climate change and building a clean, prosperous economy continues to be a key priority for the Government and Canadians. The Government of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy (ERP) is an important deliverable under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act that provides a comprehensive sector-by-sector roadmap to achieve Canada’s 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution of 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, and that lays the foundation for net-zero emissions by 2050. From transportation to the oil and gas sector to heavy industry, agriculture, buildings and waste, every sector in all regions has a role to play in meeting Canada’s 2030 climate target. This plan includes $9.1 billion in new investments and a suite of new measures to help mobilize Canada toward a truly sustainable economy and a leading competitor in the global transition to cleaner industries and technologies. Close collaboration with other federal departments, provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous peoples, and businesses, as well as the acceleration of clean technology innovation and deployment, will help position Canada for success in implementing the ERP. The Department will also continue to work with partners and stakeholders to implement the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the 2020 Strengthened Climate Plan, and Budget 2022 measures. Finally, the Department will continue to implement the requirements of the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, including key 2023-24 deliverables, such as publishing a response to the Net-Zero Advisory Body’s annual report in the spring of 2023 and a progress report on the 2030 ERP by the end of 2023.

Canada will continue advocating for ambitious, comprehensive and enforceable environmental provisions in its free trade agreements, and to work with international partners to implement existing agreements and other bilateral and regional cooperation instruments. ECCC—in close collaboration with Global Affairs Canada—will maintain its work with international partners to implement the Paris Agreement, ratified by Canada in October 2016. Continuing its role in Canada’s international cooperation on environmental issues, ECCC will support developing countries in their transition to sustainable, low-carbon, climate-resilient, nature-positive and inclusive development by continuing to deliver on implementation of Canada’s $5.3 billion climate finance commitment in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada.

In 2023‒24, ECCC will continue to ensure effective carbon pollution pricing across the country including: implementing the Federal Output-based Pricing System for industrial emitters; ensuring all carbon pollution pricing systems continue to be effective in incenting reductions and innovation, and align with the strengthened minimum national stringency standards from 2023 onwards (federal “benchmark”); and implementing Canada’s GHG Offset Credit System launched in 2022.; and returning a portion of fuel charge proceeds to small and medium-sized enterprises and Indigenous recipients. ECCC will also continue to deliver the Low Carbon Economy Fund and the Climate Action and Awareness Fund to promote and facilitate action on clean growth and will implement the Fuel Charge Proceeds Return Program and the Output-Based Pricing System Proceeds Fund to return proceeds collected through the carbon pollution pricing system back to jurisdictions of origin.

The Department will pursue its work with other federal organizations in delivering on $1.6 billion of new investments announced in 2022 for climate change adaptation and resilience under the Government of Canada Adaptation Action Plan (GOCAAP) to advance the first ever National Adaptation Strategy, including supporting community-based adaptation in municipalities and providing authoritative science and knowledge of climate change in Canada.

Preventing and Managing Pollution

In 2023-24, ECCC will continue to support and undertake science, promote innovation, and employ the tools available to it under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) to ensure that plastics remain in the economy and out of the environment. ECCC, in collaboration with other federal government departments will continue to work with provinces and territories through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment in implementing the 2018 Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste. The Department will continue to play a leadership role globally to accelerate efforts to better manage plastics and end plastic pollution. ECCC will lead federal efforts to develop an ambitious and effective international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution by 2024, working collaboratively with other federal departments and all levels of government, Indigenous communities, industry, civil society and the public.

To protect Canadians and the environment from harmful substances, the Department will pursue initiatives to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, and will continue to deliver Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan in collaboration with Health Canada.

ECCC will provide ongoing support in the development of a new Canada Water Agency to work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean and well-managed. ECCC will support efforts to restore, improve and protect key freshwater resources, including the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River and Lake Winnipeg basins, as well as other vital freshwater systems and wetlands across Canada. The Department will also provide science advice, as well as regulatory and program support towards the implementation of the next phase of Canada’s $3.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan.

ECCC will develop, administer, and amend, where appropriate, regulations to reduce air pollutant emissions from industrial sources, vehicles, engines and fuels, and consumer and commercial products. The social and economic consequences of illness and death associated with air pollution has an economic value of $120 billion per year. The Department will continue to collaborate with Health Canada to implement the Air Quality Health Index, to support informed decision making by Canadians about their health. It will also continue to work with provinces and territories to implement the Air Quality Management System (AQMS), a comprehensive approach to reducing outdoor air pollution. ECCC will uphold Canada’s role in international air quality treaties and fora, with the goal of reducing transboundary air pollution.

The 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) was tabled in Parliament on November 2. The FSDS sets out the federal government’s sustainable development priorities, establishes goals and targets, and identifies actions to achieve them. This includes achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, conserving nature and biodiversity for future generations, advancing reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, promoting gender equality, and supporting innovation and growth.

Conserving Nature

ECCC will work domestically and internationally to provide leadership in implementing the new Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework designed to guide nature action over the next decade. In 2023-24, the Department will work with federal partners to engage provinces and territories, Indigenous groups, and stakeholders to develop Canada’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan to 2030. This collaborative work will be instrumental in helping Canada reach its goal of halting and reversing nature loss by 2030 and achieving a full recovery by 2050. Advancing the GBF domestically, particularly for protected and conserved areas targets, will be supported by ongoing efforts to negotiate Nature Agreements with provinces and territories and support Indigenous leadership in conservation through the advancement of Project Finance for Permanence.

ECCC will continue to work with Parks Canada Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as well as provinces and territories, Indigenous partners, key industry sectors, environmental non-government organisations, and private foundations and trusts, to conserve 25 per cent of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025 and work towards 30 per cent by 2030. In doing so, the Department will support Indigenous leadership in conservation through such measures as supporting Indigenous Guardians initiatives and the establishment of Indigenous Guardians Networks, establishment of Indigenous-led conservation areas that respect the unique rights, interests, and traditions of Indigenous peoples.

The Department will lead on the creation of protected areas through biosphere reserves, and expand National Wildlife Areas, as well as collaborate with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, and other partners to protect private lands, recover species at risk, maintain and restore healthy populations of migratory birds, and protect and conserve lands and freshwater, including vital ecosystems and habitats. The Department will continue to implement the Species at Risk Act and the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada while advancing related policy and program improvements to the conservation and recovery of terrestrial species at risk.

Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions

In 2023–24, the Department will continue to improve its weather and climate prediction services through innovations in technology, infrastructure, and services. It will place a special focus on meeting the growing demand for timely, accurate and reliable information about weather and climate-related risks and emergencies such as wildfires, flooding, extreme temperatures, storms, and other major atmospheric events. Work in the year will include continuous advancement of ECCC’s weather and environmental prediction models, and the modernization of public forecast services and products. ECCC will continue to develop tailored communications products to better inform Canadians on the weather. The Department will also evaluate new technologies for ECCC’s monitoring networks that will help to meet evolving requirements and improve services in key areas, such as high-impact weather and flooding. In addition, ECCC’s National Hydrological Service will continue to strengthen its engineering and technical capacity, modernize its hydrometric infrastructure, improve services in support of water forecasts, and put in place new technologies to gather and analyze water information.

Commitment to innovation: Focus on the Program of Applied Research on Climate Action (PARCA)

Along with the major shifts in energy, transportation, agriculture and other large-scale systems, the choices of individuals and organizations will play an important role in meeting Canada’s ambitious climate commitments. The examples of Experimentation highlighted this year focus on PARCA, a partnership between ECCC, Natural Resources Canada and the Privy Council Office’s Impact and Innovation Unit to apply behavioural science to programs, policies, services and communications. PARCA will produce stronger calls to climate action for individuals and organizations and real, measurable results based on rigorous research, analysis and experimentation.

Behavioural science fellows embedded in branches across ECCC are leading PARCA tests and experiments. They will find out what really drives choices and what barriers stand in the way of greater climate action by individuals, organizations and businesses. They will test potential solutions, first online and then in the real world, to support evidence-based decision-making across the department.

The examples highlighted this year focus on some of these experiments.

For more information on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plans, see the “Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks” sections of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks

This section contains information on the department’s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities.

Core Responsibility: Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change

Description

Support and coordinate the development and implementation of Canada’s environmental and climate change policies, programs, and plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support a transition to a resilient, inclusive low-carbon economy. This will be achieved by developing and implementing climate mitigation measures; supporting adaptation to climate change; contributing to international environment and climate-related actions and initiatives; and engaging with other federal government departments, Indigenous partners, provinces and territories, domestic and international partners and stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties.

Planning highlights

In 2023, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) will continue its work with partners to implement its commitments and collectively increase climate action to achieve Canada’s climate objectives, and to advance Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy and deliver climate services. In March 2022, Canada published the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy. Since then, the Government has made additional commitments, including in Budget 2022 and the 2022 Fall Economic Statement, such as an investment tax credit of up to 30 per cent for clean technologies, with a focus on net-zero technologies, battery storage solutions, and clean hydrogen. Work is underway to implement these policies and plans. A progress report on the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan will be completed by the end of 2023, as required under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.

Following the constructive role Canada played at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the Department will continue to demonstrate strong climate leadership both domestically and internationally in 2023-24. Showcasing advancements in climate action at home enables Canada to influence and benefit from a global low-carbon economy.

In 2023–24, the Department will continue working with international partners to achieve Canada’s climate objectives and raise collective climate ambition during this critical decade of action, including continuing efforts to maintain the Paris Agreement temperature goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Department will also continue to advance Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy and deliver climate services.Footnote 1  Released in November 2022 for final comment, the strategy establishes a vision for a more resilient Canada and sets a whole-of-society blueprint for more coordinated and ambitious action on adaptation. The Government of Canada Adaptation Action Plan (GOCAAP), released in November 2022, represents the federal contribution to implementing the National Adaptation Strategy. The GOCAAP renews federal policy in respect of adaptation to climate change from 2011 and it contains the first complete inventory of federal adaptation-related programs. It includes 68 new and existing adaptation measures across 22 federal departments and agencies, and up to $1.6 billion in new investments to enhance adaptation efforts across Canada. From 2023-24 onwards, the Department will work with both Government of Canada and whole-of-society partners to implement Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy. The Canadian Centre for Climate Services will continue to deliver climate services and work with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to establish regional climate service expert organizations, enhancing its national network of climate service providers across the country.

Departmental Result: Canadian greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutant emissions are reduced

ECCC will continue to help ensure that the requirements of the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which gives legal force to Canada’s net-zero commitment, are met. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act received Royal Assent in June 2021, giving legal force to the achievement of the goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 and requiring the Government to set national targets at least 10 years in advance for the reduction of GHG emissions at five-year intervals. Implementation of this legislation will ensure transparency and accountability through requirements for emissions reduction plans, progress reports, and assessment reports with respect to each five-year target.

Net-Zero Advisory Body

In March 2022, the Net-Zero Advisory Body released its Submission for Canada's 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, which provided 40 pieces of advice on governance in the buildings, transportation, and oil and gas sectors. The Net-Zero Advisory Body also submitted its 2022 Annual Report to the Minister in December 2022, covering net-zero governance, net-zero industrial policy, and net-zero energy systems. Through its Annual Reports, the Net-Zero Advisory Body provides the Minister with independent advice to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The Act also provides accountability and transparency by enshrining the role of Indigenous knowledge in the climate accountability process, and requires that the Government, when setting or amending a target or plan, provide the opportunity for provincial/territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, the Net-Zero Advisory Body, and the public to make submissions. Under the Act, the Net-Zero Advisory Body is established as a Governor in Council-appointed body that will provide the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with independent advice on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Act sets out requirements for the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to report on actions taken to mitigate climate change, and for the Minister of Finance to manage financial risks and opportunities.

ECCC, along with other federal departments, will implement the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan to achieve Canada’s target of 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, as well as support efforts to mobilize Canada towards a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 and to enable Canada to be a leading competitor in the global transition to cleaner industries and technologies. Supporting a whole-of-government effort to implement the 2030 ERP will be a focus in 2023-24, to ensure that Canada continues to make progress towards achieving its 2030 and 2050 climate mitigation targets. The Department’s role in implementation will include co-ordination and oversight, as well as responsibility for several important measures and strategies announced in the plan, such as the regulatory measures to reduce emissions from light-duty vehicles, the development of Clean Electricity Regulations and work to develop a cap on oil and gas sector emissions. Additionally, continued engagement with partners and stakeholders to implement the plan will again be a priority for 2023-24. As per the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, in establishing the emissions reduction plans the Minister must, in a manner he considers appropriate, provide the provinces, Indigenous peoples, the Net-Zero Advisory Body, and interested persons the opportunity to provide submissions. The important insights provided by these groups were reflected throughout the 2030 ERP as well as in its annexes, and will continue to support our efforts.

ECCC will work with Natural Resources Canada to cap and cut GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector, ensure that the sector makes an ambitious and achievable contribution to meeting the country’s 2030 climate goals, and reduce methane emissions consistent with the Global Methane Pledge. At COP26, the Government of Canada announced new ambitious measures to support the achievement of Canada’s 2030 GHG target. This includes capping and reducing GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector at a scale and scope needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and reducing methane emissions from oil and gas by at least 75 per cent below 2012 levels by 2030. The Department will also make progress implementing the plan Faster and Further: Canada’s Methane Strategy to reduce methane emissions across the broader Canadian economy consistent with the Global Methane Pledge calling for a reduction in global methane emissions of 30 per cent across all economic sectors. Canada’s plan is expected to result in a reduction of methane emissions of at least 35 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030.

In addition, the Department will continue developing new regulations aimed at reducing landfill methane emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. Pre-consultation is underway, and proposed regulations are anticipated in 2024.

In 2023-24, ECCC will implement a key offset system outlined in Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan. ECCC will continue to implement Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System, giving municipalities, foresters, farmers, Indigenous communities, and others a market-based incentive to undertake innovative projects that reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) by preventing emissions and removing GHGs from the atmosphere. Registered participants can carry out projects following a federal offset protocol which sets out a consistent approach for measuring GHG emissions reductions or removals for specific types of projects.Footnote 2  These projects can generate one tradeable offset credit for every tonne of emissions they reduce or remove from the atmosphere. Once a credit is earned, it can be sold to others to help them meet their compliance obligations under the carbon pollution pricing system or other emissions reduction goals.

ECCC will continue its partnership and constructive dialogue with First Nations, Inuit and Métis organizations to advance Indigenous climate leadership and enable the design of federal policies and programs that address their climate priorities. First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation have been at the forefront of drawing attention to the impacts of climate change. They have been calling for ambitious action to reduce pollution, to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and to improve the ways in which the natural environment is respected and protected. In doing so, they continue to reinforce the critical importance of Indigenous peoples’ leadership in achieving the foundational changes required to address climate change and advance reconciliation in Canada. To that end, as identified in the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan and the Strengthened Climate Plan, ECCC will continue to engage with Indigenous partners on the development of policies and programs to address climate priorities in a way that is respectful of Indigenous Science and Knowledge and advances implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples. Key initiatives in 2023-24 include: working with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners to co-develop an Indigenous Climate Leadership Agenda; implement the National Adaptation Strategy; and advance clean energy and energy efficiency projects under the Indigenous Leadership Fund.

The Department will work towards establishing mandatory climate-related financial disclosure and net-zero plans. ECCC will support the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in working with provinces and territories to move toward mandatory climate-related financial disclosures based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures framework, and in requiring federally regulated institutions, including financial institutions, pension funds and government agencies, to issue climate-related financial disclosures and net-zero plans. The Department continues to work with the Department of Finance to support the work of the Sustainable Finance Action Council, which provides financial sector input on the development of foundational market infrastructure, including enhanced climate disclosure, defining green and transition investment, and climate data and analytics.

ECCC will continue to implement the Pan-Canadian Approach to pricing carbon pollution. A price on carbon pollution across Canada creates incentives for individuals, households, and businesses to choose cleaner options, including green technology. Under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA), the federal carbon pollution pricing system has two parts: a regulatory charge on fossil fuels (the fuel charge), and a performance-based pricing system for industrial facilities, known as the Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS). The system applies in those provinces and territories that requested it and in those that did not have their own system that meets the federal benchmark stringency criteria. The OBPS is designed to put a price on carbon pollution and reduce the risk of carbon leakage from industry, enabling industries to maintain competitiveness relative to international peers and affording them the flexibility to meet emissions limits through emissions trading and the use of GHG offset credits.

In 2023–24, ECCC will support pricing carbon pollution through the following measures:

The Department will also submit in 2023-24 its annual report on the administration of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to Parliament.

ECCC will return proceeds from the federal carbon pollution pricing system to jurisdictions of origin through federal programming. As obligated by the GGPPA, all proceeds collected under the federal carbon pollution pricing system, including the federal fuel charge and the federal OBPS, will be returned to jurisdictions of origin. Participating provincial and territorial governments that have committed to addressing climate change by voluntarily adopting the federal system can receive these proceeds directly from the Government of Canada. In the remaining jurisdictions where the federal price on carbon pollution is in effect, in whole or in part, the Government of Canada returns the proceeds through several mechanisms. Most of the fuel charge proceeds go directly to households through quarterly Climate Action Incentive payments delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

In 2023-24, ECCC will continue to implement the Fuel Charge Proceeds Return Program, which will return over $2.5 billion in fuel charge proceeds collected between 2019-20 and 2023-24 back to the jurisdictions of origin.Footnote 3  Proceeds will be returned as direct payments to small and medium-sized enterprises in emissions-intensive and trade-exposed sectors. In addition, ECCC will continue co-developing approaches to return 1 per cent of fuel charge proceeds to Indigenous recipients in jurisdictions where federal programming is in effect. The Department will also administer programming to return proceeds collected under the federal OBPS through the OBPS Proceeds Fund in support of industrial decarbonization projects and greening the electricity sector.

The Department will continue to advance domestic and international work to reduce short-lived climate pollutant (SLCP) emissions in line with Canada’s Strategy on Short-lived Climate Pollutants. SLCPs such as black carbon, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and ground-level ozone, are both potent GHGs and air pollutants that contribute to climate warming and can affect air quality. In 2023-24, Canada will continue to contribute to global efforts to reduce SLCP emissions through participation in international fora, such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Arctic Council, and the Global Methane Initiative.

ECCC will continue its commitment to modernize its digital services to improve access to authoritative, foundational climate science and information. This modernization will further enable the work of ECCC scientists in order to inform and support clean growth and climate change program priorities, including through the publication of reports. The most recent information on GHG emissions and air pollutants will continue to be published by ECCC in the following annual inventories and reports:

ECCC will maintain and develop the Government of Canada’s publicly available Fuel Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Model to support multiple Government initiatives. The Fuel LCA Model is a tool to calculate the lifecycle carbon intensity (CI) of fuels and energy sources used and produced in Canada. The Clean Fuel Regulations is the first regulation to use the Model to determine the CI of fuels and energy sources for credit creation, and other governmental programs are considering its use. The Fuel LCA Model is designed to:

The Department will support climate action across Canada by providing up to $1.4 billion to provinces and territories to reduce carbon pollution, and roughly $500 million towards projects aimed at developing a low carbon economy. To support climate action across the country, ECCC will continue to implement the Low Carbon Economy Fund to provide up to $2 billion in funding to reduce carbon pollution. The Department will continue to implement the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund by working with provinces and territories, and by providing up to $1.4 billion in support by 2023‒24 to help them deliver on their commitments to reduce carbon pollution and contribute to meeting or exceeding Canada’s 2030 climate target. The Department will also continue to administer the Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which provides approximately $500 million in support to projects that will generate clean growth, reduce GHG emissions, and help meet Canada’s Paris Agreement commitments.

Additionally, the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan included the announcement of a $2.2 billion recapitalization of the LCEF, which will be implemented starting in 2023-24 and includes a new $180 million Indigenous Leadership Fund and a $50 million Implementation Readiness Fund. More specifically, the Department will enhance its collaboration with provinces and territories through the Leadership Fund, and support projects to stimulate ambitious climate action and clean growth in support of Canada’s 2030 and 2050 climate goals through the Challenge Fund.

ECCC will finalize regulations to fight climate change and improve air quality. To realize Canada’s enhanced GHG emission reduction target of 40%–45% (relative to 2005 emission levels) by 2030, ECCC will continue to use regulations to reduce GHG emissions from the oil and gas, transportation, electricity, and other industrial sectors that contribute significantly to total GHG emissions in Canada. The following are some examples of how the Department will work to achieve this goal:

Commitment to reduce HFCs

Canada has committed, through the Kigali Amendment to the Montréal Protocol, to an 85 per cent reduction in HFCs by 2036. Canada will continue to work with all industry stakeholders to ensure that it meets its international obligations to phase down HFCs and protect our environment.

Climate Action and Awareness Fund

The CAAF has launched multiple calls for proposals to support its priorities, as follows:

  • Summer 2020: Youth Climate Awareness;
  • Spring 2021: Advancing Climate Change Science and Technology;
  • Winter 2022: Second call for Community-Based Climate Action; and
  • Summer 2022: Supporting Climate Research at Canadian Think Tank Organizations and in Academia.

A full list of recipients can be found on the Environmental Damages Fund Project Map.

ECCC will continue to administer the Climate Action and Awareness Fund (CAAF), a funding initiative that will invest up to $206 million over five years to support Canadian projects that help to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions and build a sustainable net-zero emissions economy by 2050. ECCC will continue to use funds from the Environmental Damages Fund to create this unique opportunity.The CAAF is supported by the historic $196.5 million fine paid by Volkswagen for circumventing Canada’s environmental protection rules—the largest environmental fine in Canadian history. In 2023-24, ECCC will continue to apply monies from this fund to support environmental initiatives under three priorities: (1) youth climate awareness and community-based climate action; (2) advancing climate science and technology; and (3) supporting climate research at Canadian think tank organizations and in academia. The CAAF has launched multiple calls for proposals to support its priorities.

The Department will encourage voluntary business action on climate change through a Net-Zero Challenge aimed at developing plans to transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. In 2023-24 ECCC will proceed with implementation of the Net-Zero Challenge, a new national voluntary initiative launched in 2022 for businesses operating in Canada. Implementation activities will include reviewing information submitted by companies and active outreach to prospective participants. Businesses that join the Challenge commit to developing and implementing credible and effective plans to transition their facilities and operations to net-zero emissions by 2050. Companies will benefit from technical guidance, best practices, a community of peer businesses, and the opportunity to highlight their commitment to achieving net-zero emissions.

Partnerships to Step up ZEVs

ECCC will continue to work with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Transport Canada, and Natural Resources Canada to advance toward zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) targets of at least 60 per cent of light-duty vehicle sales by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035, and 100 per cent of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales by 2040 for a subset of vehicle types, based on feasibility.

ECCC’s work to accelerate the transition to a zero emission future includes the recent publication of the proposed regulations in December, 2022 to require the supply of light-duty zero-emission vehicles, beginning in 2026. These regulations will help ensure that Canada achieves 100% ZEV sales by 2035. ECCC will also continue to support the work of other federal partners in rolling out a $547.5 million, four-year purchase incentive program for medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles to help businesses upgrade their fleets. This incentive, first announced in 2022, will complement other programs supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicles including:

The Department will continue to work with federal partners, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, conservation organizations, the private sector, and civil society toconserve 25 per cent of Canada’s land and oceans by 2025, working towards 30 per cent by 2030 including by using nature-based solutions, and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by two to four megatonnes annually. Climate change and biodiversity loss are often referred to as dual crises, for which integrated and complementary solutions are both crucial and urgent. Canada has a role to play in developing and implementing such solutions, partially because we have one of the world’s largest carbon stores in our vast landscapes of forests, wetlands, peatlands, and other carbon-rich ecosystems. The Government of Canada has committed to conserving 25 per cent of Canada’s land and oceans by 2025, which will contribute nature-based solutions to fight climate change. By conserving, restoring, and improving management practices in our carbon-rich ecosystems, such as wetlands, Canada will build climate resilience by reducing net GHG emissions while providing co-benefits for biodiversity, including habitat for species, and the health and well-being of people across Canada. As identified in Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, ECCC will continue to work with federal partners, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, conservation organizations, the private sector, and civil society to implement new investments. These include the following initiatives under the overarching Natural Climate Solutions Fund:

Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan incorporates nature-based climate solutions as one of its five pillars. It also complements Canada’s international efforts, including in developing countries where we have committed to assign at least 20 per cent of our international climate finance funding toward nature-based climate solutions with biodiversity co-benefits.

ECCC will continue to develop and implement a climate lens to help integrate climate adaptation and mitigation considerations into government decision-making. Building on a pilot phase, and working with the Privy Council Office, the Department of Finance, and the Treasury Board Secretariat, ECCC will continue to expand this analytical tool in 2023-24 to support decision-making throughout government.

Departmental Result: Canadian communities, economies and ecosystems are more resilient

ECCC will continue to reduce energy-related GHG emissions from its own facilities by implementing cost-effective GHG emission reduction projects, rationalizing its real estate portfolio, optimizing space, and ensuring that all new buildings and major building retrofits prioritize low-carbon investments. The Department will also assess opportunities to deploy on-site clean electricity in its buildings and purchase off-site clean electricity to help achieve 100 per cent clean electricity usage by 2025 at the latest. Moreover, ECCC will take actions to reduce energy use in its fleet through fleet-sharing and the purchase of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), with the objective of reaching 80 per cent of ZEVs in its light-duty fleet by 2030 and, where possible, through the provision of ZEV charging stations within its facilities. In 2023–24, ECCC will continue to implement actions identified in its Departmental Adaptation Plan to address climate change risks to its assets, services, and operations.

Canada is Warming Quickly

Canada is warming at twice the average global rate and three times this rate in the North, which in turn is increasing the frequency and intensity of flooding, droughts, and wildfires, and contributing to permafrost thaw and sea-level rise. To meet this growing challenge, ECCC is working with partners to enhance action on climate change adaptation.

ECCC will continue to provide Canadians with authoritative climate data and information through the Canadian Centre for Climate Services. The CCCS works with partners and stakeholders to help Canadians increase their resilience to climate change through information, training, guidance, and resources to support climate-smart decisions. The Department will continue to expand the national network of regional climate service organizations to increase local capacity. The CCCS will collaborate with partners to develop climate information products and tools. Training material and resources will be tailored to help Canadians use climate information, and expert support will be provided to individual enquiries sent through the Climate Services Support Desk.

In 2023-24, ECCC and other federal departments and agencies will implement the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) through the Government of Canada Adaptation Action Plan (GOCAAP). The Strategy and Action Plan build on a strong foundation of action already being taken across the country, such as the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, administered by Infrastructure Canada, for infrastructure projects to help communities better prepare for climate-related disasters.

Adapting to the Risks and Challenges of Climate Change

Climate-readiness includes measures such as preventing the construction of homes on floodplains, increasing tree coverage in urban forests to reduce the effects of heatwaves, and using data to map and manage the risks of wildfires and flooding.

Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy, released in November 2022 for final comment, reflects two years of engagement with: provincial, territorial, and municipal governments; First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation representatives; key experts and stakeholders; and Canadians. This level of engagement represents the first time that Canada will have assembled adaptation objectives and priorities into a single framework, joining many other national and subnational jurisdictions. It will help guide the efforts of all areas of society on adaptation. It is underpinned by a set of guiding principles to ensure that investments and solutions are fair, inclusive, and equitable.

The Government of Canada Adaptation Action Plan (GOCAAP) is the federal plan to implement the National Adaptation Strategy. It will complement the adaptation efforts of provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners. The GOCAAP includes 68 new and ongoing actions to advance the priority areas of the NAS, including $1.6 billion in new investments. Starting in 2023-24, ECCC will expand the Green Municipal Fund with $530 million to support community-based adaptation initiatives in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The Department will also develop a new Canada-wide climate science assessment to provide Canadians with authoritative knowledge and data to support adaptation efforts.

Departmental Result: Canada contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing climate resilience globally

The Department will support domestic cooperation on climate change adaptation. ECCC will partner with the climate consortium Ouranos to plan the seventh Adaptation Futures international conference series on global adaptation, scheduled to take place in Montréal in 2023. ECCC will also continue to collaborate with provinces and territories through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, as well as with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation through three distinctions-based senior bilateral tables, to share knowledge and best practices to advance adaptation efforts across jurisdictions.

ECCC will continue to lead Canada’s engagement on climate change and the environment in various multilateral fora, such as the G7, G20, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), and others, to help advance the implementation of the ambitious Paris Agreement. ECCC will continue its leadership role in increasing the global response to climate change by working with international partners to implement the Paris Agreement, which Canada ratified in October 2016. Canada is preparing for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) planned for November/December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This follows Canada’s participation at COP27, where ECCC worked to advance ambitious and inclusive climate action, including through a Canada Pavilion, which provided an opportunity to showcase the diversity of climate leadership in Canada. At COP28, ECCC will continue to lead Canada’s engagement on the implementation of the Paris Agreement to ensure that all Parties undertake ambitious actions under a common framework that reflects the highest standards of transparency and environmental integrity. ECCC’s international work also includes engaging Indigenous peoples in developing international climate policy and promoting gender equality and the role of women in climate action around the world.

In collaboration with Global Affairs Canada and implementing partners, ECCC will continue to support the adaptation and mitigation efforts of developing countries, including in small island states and least developed countries which are particularly vulnerable and at risk of climate-related emergencies. In June 2021, Canada announced a doubling of its international climate finance to $5.3 billion over the next five years to support developing countries in their transition to sustainable, low-carbon, climate-resilient, nature-positive and inclusive development. The Department and Global Affairs Canada co-chair interdepartmental governance committees to ensure an effective whole-of-government approach to the implementation of Canada’s climate finance commitment. In addition, ECCC will continue to lead on implementing, through bilateral and multilateral channels, approximately $160 million in climate finance over five years to support climate action in developing countries. For example, the Department will help four Pacific Alliance countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru) and four African countries (Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, and Togo) strengthen their national climate measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) systems.

In 2023-24, the Department will continue to advance international climate action, particularly related to adaptation, through involvement in targeted multilateral initiatives. This includes Canada’s participation in the international Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, which it joined in 2022. Canada is working in concert with other members to accelerate adaptation finance and improve its quality and accessibility, particularly for Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States. Canada will also further its engagement on adaptation through the LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR), which it joined in the fall of 2022 to promote locally-led adaptation.

The Department will continue international partnerships, initiatives, and bilateral cooperation to advance clean growth and climate action regarding coal and fossil fuels. In support of the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Department will continue to co-lead the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) with the United Kingdom. The PPCA is the world’s first and only government-led initiative seeking to accelerate the global phase-out of emissions from coal power. ECCC will support Government initiatives to accelerate Canada’s G20 commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2023 instead of 2025 and develop a plan to phase out public financing of the fossil fuel sector, including by federal Crown corporations.

ECCC will take steps to promote clean growth and climate change interests through ambitious, comprehensive, and enforceable environmental provisions in its free trade agreements (FTAs). ECCC’s work in this area includes negotiating obligations to maintain robust environmental governance as trade and investment are liberalized, and commitments on a range of global environmental issues, including illegal wildlife trade, pollution reduction, climate change, and clean technology. These commitments are being implemented as part of Canada’s FTAs and other bilateral and regional cooperation instruments with key trading partners, including the United States, Mexico, the European Union, and countries party to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Gender-based analysis plus
icon for gender-based analysis plus

It is well understood that Canada’s changing climate exacerbates existing challenges and health stressors for Indigenous peoples in Canada. Climate change also disproportionately impacts northern, rural, remote, and coastal communities, younger and older generations, people with health issues or disabilities, low-income groups, women, and those at the intersection of these identities. ECCC will continue to consider the impacts of its climate change policies and programs in order to avoid, as much as possible, further negative impacts on affected populations, and will lead and coordinate a whole-of-government development of Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan, which included the publication of GBA Plus analytical results from the initial policy development phase. The Government will continue to conduct additional GBA Plus for each policy and program to maximize positive benefits for those most impacted by the negative effects of climate change.

The household rebate system to return all fuel charge proceeds from the federal carbon pricing system helps keep costs down for low-income and other marginalized Canadians. An additional top-up on these payments is given to households in rural and remote communities, and relief is also provided for farmers, fishers, users of aviation fuel in the territories, greenhouse operators, and power plants that generate electricity for remote communities. The Government of Canada has also committed to return 1% of fuel charge proceeds to Indigenous peoples in backstop jurisdictions where federal programming is in effect, with remaining proceeds allocated to support small- and medium-sized businesses.

In support of the Government of Canada’s commitments to advance Indigenous climate leadership and ensure federal policies and programs address Indigenous peoples’ climate priorities, ECCC has gathered tools and resources to help communities and organizations navigate the requirements of Canada’s GHG Offset Credit System. These materials are posted to the GHG offsets toolkit webpage and available in Ojibwe with the aim of providing translations in additional Indigenous languages moving forward.

In recognition of climate change’s widespread and often disproportionate effects, including its ability to exacerbate existing inequalities and compound risks among already impacted populations, ECCC engaged with a diverse, inclusive, and sometimes new set of partners to inform the development of a National Adaptation Strategy. The strategy defines respect for Indigenous rights and advancing equity and environmental justice as two of its guiding principles in order to foster adaptation actions and processes that are inclusive of all Canadians. ECCC is continuing its ongoing engagement with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation partners through senior-level bilateral tables to support self-determination and enable Indigenous-led climate solutions. On the international front, GBA Plus considerations are included during the negotiation and implementation of FTAs and are integrated into bilateral and regional environmental cooperation activities with international partners. Canada also continues to contribute to implementing the Gender Action Plan that was adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Plan aims to increase women’s participation and leadership in climate action and to better integrate gender considerations in national climate plans and policies. In line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), 80% of projects under Canada’s $5.3 billion climate finance commitment will integrate gender equality considerations.

Key risks

The Department’s ability to deliver results for Canadians on clean growth and climate change requires extensive collaboration with federal, provincial, territorial, Indigenous, and international partners, as well as with the private and non-profit sectors and civil society, to ensure alignment and effective cooperation. These efforts can be complicated by policy or directional divergences, competing priorities and resource constraints.

To mitigate the risk that not all strategic partnerships are fully aligned in support of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, the Department will continue to enhance its strategic relationships, including through participating in the development of a coordinated, government-wide engagement strategy. The Department will employ a mix of in-person and virtual approaches to facilitate bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and to continue to drive international leadership and advance commitments, and to plan and conduct consultations in a hybrid context.

As the impacts of climate change continue to threaten communities, it is increasingly essential to work with and support Indigenous people to monitor, mitigate, and adapt to climate change and build resilience in the North. To mitigate possible risks to establishing and maintaining quality relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis organizations, the Department will continue to implement a departmental framework for Indigenous engagement, review and strengthen ECCC’s internal governance related to Indigenous relationships and implement tools and processes to support the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in the development of ECCC policies, programs and legislation, as appropriate.

United Nations’ 2030 AgendaFootnote 4  and Sustainable Development Goals
icon for United Nations 2030 agenda

In defining a whole of government view of federal sustainability commitments and actions, the 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), developed and coordinated by ECCC, supports Canada’s overall response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. ECCC’s continued implementation of activities in support of its core responsibility for Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change will directly contribute to the achievement of numerous sustainable development goals. For example, pricing carbon pollution and implementing associated regulations will comprehensively and directly combat climate change and its impacts by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stimulating investments in clean innovation (Goal 7 and Goal 13), while initiatives such as climate action incentives and partnership funding will promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth (Goal 8). Supporting resilient infrastructure and innovative and inclusive approaches to industrial development will be achieved through LCEF incentives (Goal 9), which will also foster sustainable business, employment and consumption practices (Goal 1 and Goal 12).

When considered together, ECCC initiatives represent a comprehensive approach to facilitate Canada’s shift to a low carbon economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, achieve clean and sustainable growth, and promote innovation in industrial technologies and processes that will create sustainable industries and jobs and enhance Canada’s competitiveness. ECCC’s programs will also help regions and communities plan for and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and so mitigate threats to health, safety, and well-being.

The federal implementation plan for the 2030 Agenda commits the government to approach the SDGs in a manner guided by human rights principles and advances reconciliation with Indigenous peoples by fully respecting and protecting their rights. In 2021, the federal UN Declaration Act (UNDA) received royal assent compelling all departments to align their work with the rights articulated in the UN Declaration. ECCC's implementation of the Act will provide an opportunity to make linkages between shifting to a low carbon economy and protecting and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.

For more information on actions under this Core Responsibility that contribute to the UN SDGs, please consult ECCC’s Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2020 to 2023.

Commitment to innovation: Transition in home heating
Program of Applied Research on Climate Action (PARCA)

The Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) is helping Canadians transition away from using oil to heat their homes. PARCA research and experimentation identifies the most effective ways to motivate the switch to more renewable options, such as heat pumps.

In this project, an online survey is used to identify the challenges Canadians face in transitioning towards heat pumps. Participants are assigned on a random basis to different conditions and their responses are compared. For example:

The experimental components contained in the survey allow a comparison of possible policy supports to determine which will work best, and in what region and demographic group, with a particular focus on low-income households.

Commitment to innovation: Planning ahead to net-zero
Program of Applied Research on Climate Action (PARCA)

The Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) supports projects that help to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. One of the behavioural science projects under PARCA uses a mix of information from existing literature, qualitative data collection, and surveys to learn what targeted incentives and communication methods might best encourage LCEF applicants to i) stay with the LCEF program and complete their projects and ii) take on more ambitious projects that look beyond the short term and can achieve deeper GHG emissions reductions in line with Canada’s net-zero commitments.

Planned results for Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change

The following table shows, for Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the planned results, the result indicators, the targets and the target dates for 2022–23, and the actual results for the three most recent fiscal years for which actual results are available.

Departmental Result: Canadian greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutant emissions are reduced
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Canada’s annual greenhouse gas emissions (Mt CO2 Eq.) 40-45% reduction in GHG emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 2032 (data for 2030 will be available in 2032) First results will be reported in 2023-24
GHG emissions from light duty vehicles Under reviewFootnote 5 Under review 17% improvement in performance
[2017 model year reporting].
21% improvement [2018 model year]. 23% improvement [2019 model year]
GHG emissions from heavy duty vehicles

Reporting for 2022 Model Year:

Percentage improvement in GHG emissions performance will transition from being measured relative to the 2010 model year to the 2018 model year:Footnote 6

  • 2%: heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans
  • 13%: Combination Tractors
  • 8%: Vocational vehicles
April 2024
  • 12.2%: heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans
  • 19.1%: Combination Tractors
  • 8.5%: Vocational vehicles

[2018 model year]

  • 13%: heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans
  • 20%: combination tractors
  • 9%: vocational vehicles

[2019 model year]

  • 15%: heavy-duty pick-up trucks and vans
  • 19%: combination tractors
  • 9%: vocational vehicles

[2020 model year]

Black carbon emissions 25% decrease from an annually calculated 2013 baseline of national emissions. December 2025 31Kt in 2018
(16% reduction from baselineFootnote 3 ).
31Kt in 2019
(16% reduction from baseline).
29Kt in 2020
(22% reduction from baseline)
Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions 10% reduction in consumption relative to calculated Canadian HFC baseline of 18,008,795 tonnes of CO2e. December 2023 13.76% below baseline for the 2019 calendar year. 23% below baseline for the 2020 calendar year. 38.5% below baseline for calendar year 2021
Methane emissions from the oil and gas sector Annual decrease towards a 40–45% reduction relative to 2012 levels. December 2025 Results expected to be available in 2022.Footnote 7 45% reduction (32 MT CO2e), estimated based on 2020 compliance actions.Footnote 8
Percentage of coal-fired electricity generation units meeting their regulated GHG emissions intensity performance requirement 100% December 2023 Results not yet available. Complete reporting will be available in 2021–22.Footnote 9

Results not yet available.

Complete reporting will be available in 2021–22.Footnote 10

100%
Carbon pollution pricing systems are in place in Canada All Provinces and Territories have carbon pollution pricing systems in place that meets the federal benchmark stringency requirements or the federal backstop system applies. March 2023

As of March 31, 2019, all 10 provinces had in place carbon pollution pricing that aligns with the federal benchmark (either a provincial system or the federal backstop).

The federal backstop applied in Nunavut and Yukon beginning July 1, 2019. The Northwest Territories’ carbon pollution pricing system came into force on September 1, 2019.

13 Provinces and Territories have carbon pollution pricing systems in place that align with the federal benchmark or the federal system applies. ECCC annually verifies provincial and territorial carbon pricing systems continue to meet the minimum national stringency standards. 13 Provinces and Territories have carbon pollution pricing systems in place that align with the federal benchmark or the federal system applies. ECCC annually verifies provincial and territorial carbon pricing systems continue to meet the minimum national stringency standards.
Percentage change in GHG emissions from ECCC operations 40% GHG emissions reduction from ECCC operations (facilities and fleet) relative to 21,549 tonnes in 2005–06 baseline year. 2031 35.2% 42% 40.4% reduction has been achieved since the baseline year of 2005-2006
Departmental Result: Indigenous peoples are engaged in clean growth and climate change
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Percentage of national climate change policies or strategies developed by the Department that integrate the knowledge and perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples 100% March 2024 First results will be reported in 2023-24
Departmental Result: Canada contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing climate resilience globally
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Cumulative amount of private finance mobilized through Canada’s public sector investments $2.65B: Higher cumulative amounts mobilized in private climate finance, from year to year (reaching overall a ratio of private sector finance leveraged by Canada’s public sector investments, of at least 1 to 0.5). Long-term cumulative indicator. This is a new indicator, as of 2021–22. First year of reporting will be for 2021–22. Between 2017 and 2020, Canada mobilised CAD $205.7M in private climate finance, from public funding of CAD $270.88M as part of Canada's $2.65B climate finance commitment (equivalent to a ratio of 1 to 0.759).
  $5.3B: Higher cumulative amounts mobilized in private climate finance, from year to year (reaching overall a ratio of private sector finance leveraged with Canada’s public sector investment, of 1 to 0.75). 2050 This is a new indicator, as of 2023-24. First year of reporting will be for 2023–24.
GHG reductions resulting from international initiatives funded by Canada $2.65B: Higher cumulative reductions from year to year, from the baseline, reaching minimum reduction of 200 Mt of GHGs. Long-term cumulative indicator. Results not available.Footnote 11 An estimated cumulative reduction to date of 222.2 Mt of GHGs is expected from Canada’s $2.65B climate finance commitment. An estimated cumulative reduction of 228.6 Mt of GHGs is expected from Canada's $2.65B climate finance commitment to date.
$5.3B: Higher cumulative reductions from year to year, reaching a reduction of 300 Mt of GHGs. 2050 This is a new indicator, as of 2023-24. First year of reporting will be for 2023–24.
Cumulative number of people in developing countries who benefitted from Canada’s adaptation finance $2.65B: At least 10 million. December 2030 Results not available. A cumulative estimate of 5.9M people to date with increased resilience is expected from Canada’s $2.65B climate finance commitment. A cumulative estimate of 6.6M people with increased resilience are expected from Canada's $2.65B climate finance commitment to date.
$5.3B: At least 10 million. 2050 This is a new indicator, as of 2023-24. First year of reporting will be for 2023–24.
Departmental Result: Canadian communities, economies and ecosystems are more resilient
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Number of individuals, businesses, and governments accessing climate services and using that information to inform decision makingFootnote 12

For annual reporting: Increase over previous year’s result.

For reporting every 5 years: Increase from baseline.Footnote 13

For annual reporting: Annually in March.

For reporting every 5 years: March 2028.

180,390 visits to access climate services. 201,272 users accessed climate services via the Portals supported by the Canadian Centre for Climate Services and inquiries received via the support desk. 262,812 users accessed climate services (via the Portals supported by the Canadian Centre for Climate Services CCCS and inquiries received via the support desk)

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned budgetary spending for Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change*

The following table shows, for Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change, budgetary spending for 2023–24, as well as planned spending for that year and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2023–24
planned spending
2024–25
planned spending
2025–26
planned spending
$876,753,252 $876,753,252 $858,285,411 $790,493,285

*All figures, throughout the document, are net of respendable revenues.

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned human resources for Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change*

The following table shows, in full-time equivalents, the human resources the Department will need to fulfill this core responsibility for 2023–24 and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24 planned
full-time equivalents
2024–25 planned
full-time equivalents
2025–26 planned
full-time equivalents
906 926 896

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding. The Full-Time Equivalents numbers, throughout the document, include students.

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase

Core Responsibility: Preventing and Managing Pollution

Description

Develop measures to reduce releases of harmful substances into the environment; monitor levels of pollutants and pollution precursors in air, water and soil; promote and enforce compliance with environmental laws and regulations; and implement pollution reduction and restoration actions and programs. This will be achieved by coordinating, collaborating and consulting with other federal government departments, provinces and territories, Indigenous partners, non-governmental organizations, international partners and other stakeholders.

Planning highlights

In 2023–24, the Department will continue to take a strategic approach to reducing the environmental impact of its own operations and procurement practices, with a view to supporting the country’s transition to a circular economy by diverting at least 75 per cent of plastic and non-hazardous operational waste from landfills by 2030. Among other specific actions, ECCC will continue to track waste diversion rates in buildings and advance its Departmental Green Procurement Plan, which includes promoting the use of sustainable plastic in goods and the development of criteria to reduce the environmental impact of procurement decisions.

Departmental Result: The Canadian environment is protected from harmful substances

Text description

Enabling activities:

  • Prevention:
    • Prevent aquatic pollution
    • Improve design
    • Increase responsible uses
  • Collection and Clean-up:
    • Harmonize and expand collection
    • Enable participation
    • Collect and sort all plastic types
  • Value Recovery:
    • Expand secondary markets
    • Support research and innovation
    • Monitor and clean-up

ECCC will continue lead Canada’s agenda to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030 and the transition to a circular plastics economy. As a science-based department, ECCC’s work ranges from developing standardized scientific methods to undertaking research and monitoring to better understand the effects of plastics, including nano- and microplastics, in the environment. This science serves as the foundation for evidence-based decisions on plastics. ECCC will ensure public access to findings, data, and knowledge about plastics in the environment and the economy.

In its role as a regulator under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, priorities for 2023–24 include proceeding with implementing the ban on six categories of harmful single-use plastic products: checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics that are hard to recycle, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws (with some exceptions).

The department will develop proposed regulations for minimum recycled content requirements, as well as recyclability and compostability labelling for certain plastic items. These rules will include a requirement that plastic packaging in Canada contain at least 50 per cent recycled content by 2030. New labelling rules will prohibit the use of the chasing-arrows symbol and other recyclability claims on plastic packaging and single-use plastic products unless at least 80 percent of Canadians have access to recycling systems that both accept and have reliable end markets for these plastics. They will also prohibit the use of terms such as “degradable” or “biodegradable” and regulate the use of the term “compostable” by requiring compostable plastics to be certified by a third party to specified standards for compostability.

In addition, ECCC will continue to support provincial and territorial producer responsibility efforts by establishing a federal plastics registry and requiring producers to report annually on plastics in the Canadian economy.

The Department will also continue to support innovative approaches to increasing circularity, as well as reducing and managing plastic waste, especially in the textile and beverage bottle sectors. For the latter, a 90 per cent collection for recycling rate is envisaged.

In addition, through the Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges, ECCC will support up to three proofs of concept, one prototype, and launch a new Plastics Challenge. Solutions being developed by small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) funding recipients include a graphene-reinforced recycled paper product as a proposed sustainable alternative to plastic packaging, and potential new environmentally acceptable and cost-effective technologies to mitigate the microplastics pollution from tire wear in Canada.

Along with provinces, territories, and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), ECCC and other federal government departments are implementing the CCME’s 2018 Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste. The comprehensive Strategy targets waste prevention, reduction and/or recovery in each stage of the plastics lifecycle through a suite of activities described in the Strategy’s Action Plans (Phase 1; Phase 2).

Canada will continue to take a leadership position in addressing plastic waste and pollution both domestically and internationally. Since its G7 presidency in 2018, Canada has championed the Ocean Plastics Charter, which remains the only global framework to take a comprehensive, circular economy approach to addressing plastic pollution by encouraging ambitious action and cooperation by governments, businesses, and organizations. In support of the Charter, Canada is delivering on its $100 million contribution to support developing countries to address plastic waste, spark innovation to beat plastic pollution, and enable innovative private-public partnerships. As of December 2022, the Charter is endorsed by 28 governments and 75 businesses and organizations domestically and globally. More partnerships and action are needed at the local, national, regional, and global level to tackle plastic pollution. That is why Canada joined the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution and is working with partners to implement its commitments, advance solutions, and strengthen science. Canada actively advocates for ambitious action on plastic pollution in a number of international fora and initiatives, including the G7, G20, OECD, UNEA and others. Canada is committed to working with countries and stakeholders to develop an ambitious, legally binding instrument on plastic pollution by 2024.

ECCC will continue to support strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Over the past several decades, the science on the risks associated with harmful chemicals and pollutants has evolved. For CEPA to continue to protect Canadians and their environment from harmful substances, the Government of Canada will continue to take steps to strengthen the Act in line with science, and in recognition of Canadians’ right to a healthy environment.

On February 9, 2022, the Government introduced Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, to make related amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and to repeal the Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Virtual Elimination Act. The proposed changes would strengthen protections for Canadians and the environment, including people most vulnerable to harm from toxic substances and those living in communities where exposure is high, by:

The proposed amendments represent the first major reform to CEPA, which was last updated more than 20 years ago.

To protect the environment and Canadians from harmful substances, ECCC will continue to deliver Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) in collaboration with Health Canada. As of September 2022, the two departments had addressed 4,139 of 4,363 chemicals identified in 2006 as priorities for attention. The remaining established priority chemicals will be addressed in subsequent years as required. The pace and volume of this risk assessment work was identified as a noteworthy accomplishment in a recent evaluation of the CMP, in particular when compared to other agencies involved in chemical regulation around the globe. Since the launch of the CMP in 2006, risk management measures for toxic substances have more than doubled: from about 200 in 2006, to over 500 in 2022.

ECCC and Health Canada will also continue to support regional First Nation leadership organizations to host community sessions about environmental protection on reserve lands.

Under the CMP, 19 research projects will address issues of chemical fate,Footnote 14  bioaccumulation and the effects of CMP priority substances. Moreover, ECCC will continue to enforce CMP regulations and prioritize inspections using its risk-based approach.

The Department is committed to continuous improvement. To streamline and improve data collection, reporting and information dissemination, ECCC will invest in changes to its single window infrastructure to support the CMP. Certain populations in Canada, such as expectant mothers, children, the elderly, and Indigenous communities, are more vulnerable to harmful substances and their needs will continue to be carefully considered in selecting risk management measures.

In related work, ECCC will work with Health Canada to implement a comprehensive action plan to protect Canadians, including firefighters, from exposure to toxic flame retardants found in household products.

ECCC will contribute to food safety and security and deliver on pollution prevention under the Fisheries Act. ECCC is the lead federal department for the administration of the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act. These provisions prohibit the deposit of pollution into water frequented by fish unless authorized by a regulation. In 2023–24, ECCC will continue to raise awareness and understanding about the importance of preventing pollution from entering waterways, and the consequences of non-compliance with regulations for the pulp and paper sector, the metal and diamond mining sector, and wastewater systems operated by federal, provincial, and municipal governments and First Nations communities.

The Department will continue to advance its work on the development of Coal Mining Effluent Regulations, and to plans to publish proposed amendments for the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations and the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations. ECCC will also continue work with the Crown-Indigenous Working Group (established in 2021) to explore options to manage the risks from oil sands process-affected water.

The Department will continue to work with Indigenous partners, stakeholders, land users and communities, and will conduct research and monitoring to inform decision making regarding contaminants in Canadian ecosystems and traditionally harvested foods. ECCC will monitor priority contaminant trends in ecosystems, including in northern and arctic environments, in support of domestic and international chemical management initiatives, food safety and security, and the maintenance of traditional ways of life, and take appropriate enforcement action.

Federal Contaminated Sites in Canada

There are 4,758 active federal contaminated sites in Canada. The size and scope of federal contaminated sites vary greatly and include, for example, abandoned mines on Crown land in the North, airports, lighthouse stations, and military bases. The types of contaminants found on these sites vary widely and include petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), inorganics and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). ECCC, with support and policy guidance from the Treasury Board, provides Secretariat support for The Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan, expert science support, and works closely with consultants, contractors and trades people in the remediation and risk management of contaminated sites for which it is responsible.

The Department will support informed approaches to the clean-up of contaminated sites and improvements in waste reduction and diversion. In 2023–24, ECCC will continue to provide expert advice under the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) to help federal custodians assess and remediate their contaminated sites to ensure that the highest-priority sites are remediated, and that risks to human health and the environment are reduced. The Department will also work to identify—and prioritize the clean-up of—contaminated sites in areas where Indigenous peoples and racialized and low- income Canadians live.

In 2023-24, the Department will continue to provide financial support to promote innovative efforts by Canadian industries, consumers, and governments to reduce the generation of waste and to optimize diversion, reuse, recovery, and responsible disposal of domestic and industrial wastes. For example, in 2023-24 the Redcliff Cypress Regional Waste Management Authority (Alberta) will continue its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by diverting organic waste from a landfill with the help of a compost treatment facility funded through a Government investment of $1.4 million. Similarly, PurEnergy Inc., in Havelock Township, Ontario will use a Government investment of $10 million to continue to build a waste diversion facility that diverts organic waste from a landfill and processes it using anaerobic digestion to produce biogas and fertilizer.

Departmental Result: Canadians have clean water

The Department will continue working towards the development of a new Canada Water Agency to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists, and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean, and well managed. Additionally, ECCC will advance the modernization of the Canada Water Act to reflect Canada’s freshwater reality, including climate change and Indigenous rights.

ECCC will protect Canada’s freshwater resources, including the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and Lake Winnipeg. In 2023–24, ECCC will continue to focus effort on improving, restoring, and protecting these and other large lakes. This includes undertaking the science necessary to improve water quality, and to conserve and enhance aquatic ecosystems in these vital watersheds. The Department will engage Indigenous organizations and communities in the conservation and restoration of its freshwater resources, including by implementing key water agreements, and will support organization capacity development projects for Indigenous communities in line with recommendations from recent Freshwater evaluations. The Department will also increase public engagement in conservation and restoration through citizen science.

Restoring Hamilton Harbour

Cleaning up Randle Reef is one of the most significant steps remaining to remediate Hamilton Harbour and remove it from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern. ECCC will continue to collaborate with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Stelco, Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority, City of Hamilton, City of Burlington, and Halton Region to complete the project in 2023. Construction of the Engineered Containment Facility (ECF) was completed in 2017 and removal and placement of contaminated sediments into the ECF was completed in 2021. Once completed, the site will be turned over to the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority, which will maintain the facility in perpetuity and use the site as valuable port land.

The Government of Canada will protect the Great Lakes Basin, which is home to one in three Canadians and one in ten Americans and provides significant environmental and economic benefits to both countries. According to the State of the Great Lakes 2022, the overall status of the Great Lakes is assessed as Fair and the trend is Unchanging. Ongoing challenges include the impacts of nutrient pollution that result in toxic and nuisance algae, and some threats are already exacerbated by climate change.

To address these challenges and protect and conserve these major lakes, ECCC will continue to lead the implementation of the 2012 Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) on behalf of the Government of Canada and advance efforts to implement bi-national priorities for 2023–2025 in cooperation with other federal departments, the Province of Ontario, U.S. federal and state agencies, Indigenous communities and organizations, and other partners. In partnership with the Government of Ontario, the Department will lead the implementation of the 2021 Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health (2021–2026). These major agreements are aligned to address key challenges, including chemical pollution and plastic waste.

ECCC will implement actions to restore the water quality and ecosystem health of Great Lakes Areas of Concern, among other priorities. ECCC, in partnership with the Province of Ontario, will lead the development of a detailed inter-agency implementation plan to achieve phosphorus load reduction targets under the Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan.

The Department will collaborate with provincial governments to conserve and protect the St. Lawrence River and the Lake Winnipeg Basin. The St. Lawrence River is recognized worldwide, as reflected by the Ramsar Convention designation of its four Wetlands of International Importance, as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designations of the Lac Saint-Pierre Biosphere Reserve and the Miguasha National Park World Heritage Site. In 2021, the governments of Canada and Québec committed to invest $39 million and $25 million respectively over five years for the conservation and enhancement of the St. Lawrence River as part of the 2021-2026 St Lawrence Action Plan. Implementation of the joint projects developed under the latest amendment of the 2021-2026 Canada-Québec Agreement on the St. Lawrence will continue in 2023-2024. ECCC will continue collecting water quality data through the St. Lawrence River Monitoring Program and will develop the next five-year Overview of the State of the St. Lawrence, which will be published in 2024-2025.

In the Lake Winnipeg Basin, ECCC will continue to collaborate with Manitoba to implement the Canada-Manitoba Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Respecting Lake Winnipeg and the Lake Winnipeg Basin. The five-year MOU, signed in 2021, will facilitate cooperation on protecting water quality in the Lake Winnipeg Basin, and advance efforts to reduce nutrient pollution in the Basin in support of established nutrient reduction targets of 50 per cent for Lake Winnipeg. The MOU will also support engagement of Indigenous peoples to advance reconciliation and mutual priorities related to water quality and the ecological health of Lake Winnipeg and the Lake Winnipeg Basin. In 2023-24, the MOU Steering Committee will proactively engage Indigenous partners in a dialogue to build relationships, bridge knowledge gaps, and explore opportunities for inclusion of Indigenous peoples and knowledge in the work of the Committee.

ECCC will follow through on initiatives to improve freshwater quality and wetland ecosystems across Canada. In 2022-23, ECCC developed a National Freshwater Data Strategy framework which provides the basis for the future collaborative development of a complete, consensus-based National Freshwater Data Strategy which will establish common principles and commitments for the collection, use, storage, and accessibility of freshwater data across Canada.

ECCC will continue to support local action-based initiatives as shown by the provision of four years of support to a dozen projects in British Columbia, through the EcoAction Community Funding Program, related to: restoring water quality, and surrounding wetland and riverbank zones of three tributaries in the Brunette River Watershed; restoration and conservation of wetlands on Quadra Island, in Hope, and in the Columbia Basin; restoration of wetland, riparian and forested ecosystems on Galiano Island; and installation of floating islands and logs for wildlife and the restoration of native wetland habitats in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

For the Mackenzie River Basin, the Department will continue to support the work of the Mackenzie River Basin Board and explore options for enhancing knowledge of water quality and ecosystem health in the Basin. In the Fraser River Basin, ECCC will continue to engage watershed management partners to explore, identify and advance water quality and ecosystem health priorities. In Budget 2022, the Federal Government announced its commitment to provide $25 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to support science capacity, and domestic and international collaborations at the Experimental Lakes Area, a leading freshwater research centre in northern Ontario.

In 2022, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and ECCC reached a landmark, first-of-its-kindcollaborative decision-making agreement for Burrard Inlet under ECCC’s Disposal at Sea Program. This agreement recognizes the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s essential role as a partner with Canada in monitoring, protecting, and restoring the health of the Burrard Inlet and its long stewardship over the land. The disposal of any substance into the sea, even on the seabed, is not allowed unless a permit is issued. Only a small list of waste or other matters can be considered for disposal. Under the agreement, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Treaty, Lands, and Resources Department will work together with ECCC to assess risks of disposal at sea applications. In addition, to support this important work, ECCC will provide a total of $500,000 in funds over the next five years.

The Department will provide scientific advice as well as regulatory and program support to advance the next phase of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. The federal government, through the Budget 2022, provided $2 billion over 9 years, starting in 2022-2023, to renew and expand the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). ECCC will invest in a suite of new measures and expand existing OPP initiatives to strengthen Canada’s marine safety system and protect coastal ecosystems. In 2023–24, ECCC will focus on increasing scientific knowledge and improving ECCC’s ability to provide comprehensive, up-to-date technical and scientific advice during the response to marine oil spills. Other notable activities in addition to providing ongoing scientific expertise include: increasing knowledge of environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife in Canada’s marine ecosystems, and advancing science to support the response to incidents involving non-oil related hazardous substances. In addition, ECCC will improve its modelling and pollution detection capability, develop a framework for the Federal Government on recovery from marine oil pollution, and provide support to address wrecked vessels that may pose a threat of releasing pollution into the environment. ECCC will also advance reconciliation through partnership and collaboration with Indigenous peoples on OPP initiatives. In support of these efforts, ECCC is also increasing its capacity to take enforcement action in response to pollution incidents.

ECCC will provide recommendations to Fisheries and Oceans Canada regarding the health and safety of shellfish bearing waters. The Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP) is a federal food safety program that aims to minimize health risks associated with the consumption of contaminated bivalve molluscan shellfish while enabling international trade. The CSSP is jointly delivered through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and ECCC. ECCC activities aim to enable the harvest of safe, wholesome foods for commercial and recreational stakeholders, and to honor Indigenous rights to harvest.

As a key partner in the CSSP, ECCC will provide science-based advice through such ongoing activities as the monitoring bacteriological water quality, and the identification and evaluation of sanitary pollution sources. In addition to this science-based advice, ECCC undertakes water quality assessments following significant environmental events (such extreme weather events, accidental wastewater discharge, or agricultural runoff) and provides additional recommendations to DFO regarding the need for emergency closures of shellfish harvest areas.

Departmental Result: Canadians have clean air

ECCC will continue to work with its key federal partners, including Health Canada and the National Research Council of Canada, to improve air quality and reduce negative air quality impacts on human health and the environment. ECCC will continue to collaborate with provinces and territories to implement the Air Quality Management System (AQMS), a comprehensive approach to reducing outdoor air pollution in Canada. The Department, in collaboration with Health Canada, will complete a review of the 2020 Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and, if warranted, propose more stringent standards. In 2023–24, ECCC will continue to monitor levels of key air pollutants, in collaboration with provinces and territories, through the National Air Pollutant Surveillance Program. The Department will also leverage its high-performance computing infrastructure to conduct research to better understand the impacts of air pollutants on ecosystems and human health, work to improve models to predict atmospheric contaminant effects on air quality, and provide scenarios to support policy development. In addition, the Department will continue to deliver and improve daily Air Quality Health Index observation and forecast services to support Canadians in making decisions to protect their health and to plan, develop, and implement strategic and targeted enhancements in collaboration with Health Canada.

ECCC will continue to develop, administer, and amend, where appropriate, regulations to reduce air pollutant emissions from industrial sources, vehicles, engines and fuels, and consumer and commercial products. The Department will also continue to administer the Multi-sector Air Pollutants Regulations (MSAPR), and the Reduction in the Release of Volatile Organic Compounds Regulations (Petroleum Sector), as well as various non-regulatory instruments that address air pollutant emissions from industrial sectors.

The Department will develop regulations to reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions from petroleum storage tanks and loading operations, and will continue to assess options to reduce air pollution from other sources in the oil and gas sector.

ECCC will administer the newly finalized Volatile Organic Compound Concentration Limits for Certain Products Regulations, published in January 2022, that will reduce VOC emissions from approximately 130 product categories and subcategories of personal care products, automotive and household maintenance products, adhesives, adhesive removers, sealants and caulks, and other products. VOCs are precursors to smog.

ECCC will also continue international efforts to reduce transboundary air pollutants, including under the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement and the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

Additional Expected Departmental Results

The Department’s on-the-ground enforcement officers will continue to verify compliance with environmental legislation and associated regulations that prohibit or control the pollution of air, water, and soil. They will continue to take enforcement actions, where warranted, when non-compliance is found. ECCC, in collaboration with its partners, will continue to prioritize its activities based on the risk of harm to the environment and human health as a result of from non-compliance. The Department will continue to concentrate on capacity building by on-boarding and training newly recruited enforcement officers, and by providing re-certification training for existing designated enforcement officers.

ECCC will continue to enable the 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. On November 2, 2022, Minister Guilbeault, on behalf of the Government of Canada, tabled the 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) in Parliament. The FSDS sets out the federal government’s sustainable development priorities, establishes goals and targets, and identifies actions to achieve them. These include: achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; conserving nature and biodiversity for future generations; advancing reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities; promoting gender equality; and supporting innovation and growth. While this is Canada’s fifth FSDS, it is the first developed under a strengthened Federal Sustainable Development Act, the first to include contributions from 101 federal organizations, and the first framed by all 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda to provide a balanced view of the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainable development.

Gender-based analysis plus
icon for gender-based analysis plus

ECCC will continue to apply a GBA Plus lens to the development of policy recommendations, programs, and measures to address pollution and improve air quality. Detrimental health effects of air pollution can be compounded in individuals who have multiple risk factors. For example, a person could be disproportionately affected by air pollution if they are elderly, have chronic health conditions, or live in an area that has a higher degree of air pollution. The Department will continue to involve impacted populations, including Indigenous communities located near large industrial complexes or those affected by smoke during wildfires, in air quality work. Similarly, the Department will continue to engage with Indigenous communities on water quality initiatives in key freshwater ecosystems, including in the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg, the St. Lawrence River watershed, and the Wolastoq/Saint John River Watershed. Projects are aimed at addressing communities’ concerns, increasing Indigenous participation in decision-making and governance in water agreements, and expanding the use of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge in water quality initiatives. ECCC’s work to identify and manage harmful substances will continue to use scientific information and reflect the importance of sound risk management to reduce risks posed to impacted groups from exposure to toxic chemicals. This will contribute to adapting compliance promotion material to better reflect target audiences’ cultural and linguistic profiles. The Department will also continue to strengthen its hiring practices to increase representation of the Canadian population in its enforcement workforce.

Key risks

Anti-pollution programming and other environmental issues are often inherently complex, particularly those that are cross jurisdictional or international, and require extensive collaboration with various partners, such as businesses, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous communities, municipalities, provinces, territories, and other countries. The maintenance of effective relationships with partners can at times be challenging due to competing priorities, changing political landscapes, resource constraints, the absence of ongoing funding for some programs, and an expanding mandate that includes many high-profile priorities and commitments. To mitigate the risks to its strategic partnerships, the Department will continue to support proactive and strategic approaches to policy development and advice, including by enhancing the breadth and quality of shared material (briefing notes, information on key issues, etc.), continuing to collaborate through both existing and new governance bodies, continued adaptation and integration of modernized remote working practices, and continued exploration of technological solutions to promote collaboration among partners, including by upgrading conferencing technologies in ECCC boardrooms.

The Department will also continue to examine lessons learned regarding fieldwork during the pandemic and ensure that Business Continuity Management Plans and Business Impact Analysis practices are evergreen and comprehensive.

United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals
icon for United Nations 2030 agenda

In defining a whole-of-government view of federal sustainability commitments and actions, the 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), developed and coordinated by ECCC, supports Canada’s overall response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda.

The diverse programs and strategies under ECCC’s core responsibility for Preventing and Managing Pollution will contribute very substantially to more than half of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Continued enforcement of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and key provisions of the Fisheries Act, coupled with the implementation of the Chemicals Management Plan, implementation of Canada’s obligations under the chemicals and waste multilateral environmental agreements, and advancement of regulations to protect air and water quality and promote clean fuel, while also advancing the sustainable management of water and sanitation (Goal 6), supporting Canadians living in healthy, accessible, and sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11), promoting sustainable production and consumption practices (Goal 12) and fighting climate change (Goal 13).

Through the implementation of domestic and international measures focused on the environmentally sound management of waste, oceans protection, and the elimination and reduction of plastics waste and pollution, ECCC will support sustainable use of marine resources (Goal 14) and promote inclusive approaches to sustainable development, industrialization, and urbanization (Goal 8Goal 9Goal 11Goal 15, and Goal 16). ECCC will also continue to be an active partner and leader in global action on pollution prevention and management (Goal 17).

The federal implementation plan for the 2030 Agenda commits the government to approach the SDGs in a manner guided by human rights principles and advances reconciliation with Indigenous peoples by fully respecting and protecting their rights. In 2021, the federal UN Declaration Act (UNDA) received royal assent compelling all departments to align their work with the rights articulated in the UN Declaration. ECCC's implementation of the Act will provide an opportunity to make linkages between preventing and managing pollution and protecting and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.

For more information on actions under this Core Responsibility that contribute to the UN SDGs, please consult ECCC’s Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2020 to 2023.

Commitment to Innovation: Safer and more environmentally friendly products
Program of Applied Research on Climate Action (PARCA)

PARCA will study how consumers can be encouraged to choose products that are safer for themselves and the environment. Experiments will find out which attributes are important in making decisions (i.e., What influences consumers’ willingness to pay for products that are more environmentally friendly?). A discrete choice test will isolate and rank preferences that identify, explain, predict, and model consumer preferences. Another experiment will explore the relative efficacy of different ways of labelling toxic materials and plastics in influencing consumer behaviour.

Planned results for Preventing and Managing Pollution

The following table shows, for Preventing and Managing Pollution, the planned results, the result indicators, the targets and the target dates for 2023–24, and the actual results for the three most recent fiscal years for which actual results are available.

Departmental Result: Canadians have clean air
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Percentage of the population living in areas where air pollutant concentrations are less than or equal to the Canadian Ambient Air Quality StandardsFootnote 15  85% 2030 77%
(Based on 2015-17 data)
68%
(Based on 2016- 2018)
N/A
The result is not yet available.
Departmental Result: Canadians have clean water
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Percentage of wastewater systems where effluent quality standards are achieved 100% 2040 74% 77% N/A
The result is not yet available.
Departmental Result: The Canadian environment is protected from harmful substances
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Percentage of actions taken in a timely manner to protect Canada’s environment from chemicals found to be a risk to the environment 100% March 31, 2024 First results will be reported in 2022–23.

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned budgetary spending for Preventing and Managing Pollution

The following table shows, for Preventing and Managing Pollution, budgetary spending for 2023–24, as well as planned spending for that year and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2023–24
planned spending
2024–25
planned spending
2025–26
planned spending
420,436,048 420,436,048 366,609,523 323,541,438

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned human resources for Preventing and Managing Pollution

The following table shows, in full-time equivalents, the human resources the Department will need to fulfill this core responsibility for 2023–24 and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24 planned
full-time equivalents
2024–25 planned
full-time equivalents
2025–26 planned
full-time equivalents.
2,197 2,059 2,052

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Core Responsibility: Conserving Nature

Description

Protect and recover species at risk and their critical habitat, maintain and restore healthy populations of migratory birds and other wildlife, and manage and expand Canada’s network of protected areas to conserve biodiversity, contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and support human health and well-being. This will be accomplished through evidence-based decision making that considers cumulative effects, promoting and enforcing applicable laws and regulations, engaging meaningfully with Indigenous peoples, and collaborating with provinces and territories, other domestic and international stakeholders and the public.

Planning highlights

Departmental Result: Canada’s wildlife and habitat are conserved and protected

The department will continue to play a leading role in advancing the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity,building on the outcomes ofpart two of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) held in Montreal in December 2022. In particular, in response to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, ECCC will lead the development of Canada’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action plan to 2030 in collaboration with other departments and external partners.

ECCC will also continue to represent Canada at meetings under the Convention on Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). The Department will continue to monitor threats to species around the world, act to effectively contribute to their conservation and sustainable use, and continue to build awareness of the role of wildlife trade in the spread of zoonotic diseases.

ECCC will continue to work with federal partners, provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, conservation organizations, the private sector, and civil society on an ambitious plan to conserve 25 per cent of its terrestrial lands and inland waters and oceans by 2025, working towards 30 per cent by 2030. The 2020 Speech from the Throne committed Canada to conserve 25 per cent of its terrestrial lands and inland waters and oceans by 2025, working towards 30 per cent by 2030. ECCC will continue to work with Parks Canada Agency, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, other federal partners, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, conservation organizations, the private sector, and civil society on an ambitious plan to achieve these targets that is grounded in science, Indigenous Knowledge, and local perspectives. To make progress to these targets, the Department will advance work on up to four indigenous and philanthropic conservation initiatives (Projects for Permanence) for which funding was announced at COP15. Recognizing that the loss of nature is a global issue requiring global action, Canada, as a member of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, will also continue to advocate that countries around the world implement the agreed 30 per cent conservation target for 2030.

Building on the initial $1.3 billion in funding in Budget 2018, the Budget 2021 investment of an additional $2.3 billion over five years in the Enhanced Nature Legacy Initiative represents the largest investment in nature conservation in Canada’s history. The Enhanced Nature Legacy Initiative supports work with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, local governments, key industry sectors, and land trusts to continue to build a connected network of protected and conserved areas across Canada through actions that include:

Additionally, on December 7, 2022, the Prime Minister announced up to $800 million in new federal funding to support up to four Indigenous-led conservation initiatives:

These initiatives will aim to protect an additional one million square kilometres of Canada’s land, freshwater, and marine habitats, making a large contribution towards meeting Canada’s area-based conservation commitments, by applying an innovative funding model – Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) – which is based on partnership.

The PFP model will bring together Indigenous organizations, governments, and the philanthropic community to identify and meet shared goals for protecting nature and realizing other conservation-related benefits. The approach will mobilize investments from third parties to accelerate large-scale Indigenous-led conservation across the country.

In 2023-24, ECCC will continue to follow through on more than 79 nature conservation projects announced in June 2020 to protect biodiversity, ecosystems, and habitat across the country. More than three quarters of these projects are led by, or are being implemented in partnership with, Indigenous peoples, with the aim of creating Indigenous-led conservation areas that will contribute to the target of conserving 25 per cent of Canada’s terrestrial lands and inland waters by 2025 and building toward 30 per cent by 2030.

The Government of Canada will follow through on an April 2022 agreement with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to:

Establishment of the Edéhzie National Wildlife Area

In June 2022 the Government of Canada designated Edéhzhíe as a National Wildlife Area, in addition to its status as a Dehcho Protected Area. Edéhzhíe is a pristine area of the Northwest Territories that is important for the Dehcho First Nations people. It is a cultural sanctuary where the Dehcho Dene can return for spiritual nourishment, to reconnect and reconcile with the land. It is also a critical habitat for boreal caribou and wood bison, as well as an important area for waterfowl and other migratory birds. This designation ensures that Edéhzhíe’s lands, waters and biodiversity are permanently protected through the provisions of the Canada Wildlife Act and the Wildlife Area Regulations. Furthermore, the Government of the Northwest Territories has protected Edéhzhíe from any future mineral, oil, or gas exploration or development. To support these protections, the Government of Canada has contributed $10 million towards the Edéhzhíe Trust Fund to provide long-term funding for management of the area led by Dehcho First Nations.

This initiative is one of many such collaborative projects across Canada that ECCC will be pursuing to follow through on commitments to build a network of protected areas across Canada that protect biodiversity, species at risk and their habitats, natural ecosystems, valued landscapes, and lands that support traditional pursuits and cultural values.

Other conservation initiatives that ECCC will follow through on in 2023-24 and beyond include:

The Government of Canada is committed to halting—and reversing—nature loss by 2030 and achieving a full recovery for nature by 2050. The Government established a Nature Advisory Committee to advance this commitment to preserving biodiversity. The Committee consists of experts with a range of perspectives that will provide strategic advice and recommendations on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of land and resources to both the Department and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

The first step in halting and reversing the loss of species is to identify those that exist, where they occur, and their status. The Wild Species 2020 report was tabled in Parliament in November of 2022. This report is published every 5 years in collaboration with all provinces and territories, and is one of the most comprehensive national-level inventories of species in the world. It represents the most complete understanding we have ever had of the conservation status and distribution of wild species in Canada. The data in this report will support provinces, territories, municipalities, and partners in their conservation efforts, and inform the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada of the species that may be at risk.

Examples of the kinds of biodiversity protection and recovery initiatives being pursued by ECCC include investments of: $5.6 million over three years with Ducks Unlimited Canada for projects to increase biodiversity conservation efforts in southern Canadian wetlands and coastal areas in the six eastern provinces of Canada, from Ontario to Newfoundland and Labrador; and $585,000 over three years to support biodiversity conservation efforts at the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.

ECCC will continue to develop Nature Agreements with interested provinces and territories to promote the recovery of species at risk and protect and conserve lands and freshwater. ECCC is working in partnership with other key federal departments, such as Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to develop nature agreements with interested provinces and territories. The nature agreements will advance shared interests in more integrated and collaborative approaches to conserving nature, establish more protected areas, and protect and recover species at risk and their habitat, while at the same time advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through their leadership in conservation. The agreements will also help support a green recovery by ensuring the coordinated delivery of nature-based solutions to climate change. ECCC has committed to invest up to 20.6 million in support of the signed Canada-Yukon Nature Agreement, which is now in the implementation phase. Active negotiations are ongoing in several jurisdictions, and ECCC continues to pursue interests in nature agreements with other provincial and territorial governments.

ECCC and federal partners will continue to implement a $50 million agreement with British Columbia to protect old growth forests and habitats from logging. In 2022, the Government of Canada established a $50 million BC Old Growth Nature Fund. This funding was put in place to enable ECCC and NRCan to negotiate a nature agreement with BC that will protect old growth forest lands with the highest values for biodiversity, species at risk and wildlife habitat that are at risk from logging. ECCC is taking an approach that ensures First Nations, local communities and workers are partners in shaping the path forward on nature protection. Funding will be matched by the province of BC, and support collaboration with First Nations to protect and conserve Old Growth as well as fund the establishment of protected or conserved areas. This work is expected to result in the protection of over 4,000 km2 of at risk Old Growth Forests.

The Department will build, maintain, and apply a robust knowledge foundation to conserve migratory birds and other biodiversity through integrated, targeted, and multispecies conservation initiatives, effective regulatory action, and management of protected areas. Migratory bird conservation and management is foundational to the Department and is linked to all biodiversity and conservation acts and regulations administered by ECCC. The Department will continue to deliver on the Government of Canada’s responsibility for migratory birds by ensuring that their populations and habitats are maintained and restored, helping to leave a legacy of biodiversity for future generations. This will be accomplished in part by delivering a suite of rigorously designed monitoring programs that not only inform migratory bird conservation and adaptive management, but also a number of other departmental priorities, such as protected areas planning, species at risk recovery activities, impact assessment, and emergency response.

ECCC will also continue to foster collaboration domestically and abroad, and to engage individuals and communities to achieve more impactful conservation outcomes for migratory birds. For example, the Department is investing almost over 5 million dollars in a wide range of programs run by Birds Canada for migratory bird monitoring and conservation, including for species at risk, throughout Canada. The results of these projects, which are driven by citizen science, not only connect Canadians to nature, but assist in planning the recovery of species at risk and in protecting their habitats. This investment demonstrates the Government’s commitment to making science-based decisions for migratory bird conservation through partnership with a national organization and the inclusion of Canadians in these projects for increasing knowledge. In addition, given the foundational importance of information on the distribution and abundance of migratory birds across the country, the Department has invested almost 7 million dollars to support open science initiatives to create platforms to house, manage, analyze, and share this information so that it is available and accessible to decision-makers and Canadians alike.

A Comprehensive Strategy for Migratory Bird Protection

ECCC will pursue a well-coordinated and comprehensive action plan to protect migratory birds and their habitats, and will:

  • Implement cost-effective monitoring programs for migratory birds to support status assessment, priority-setting, management, regulation, and evaluation of conservation actions.
  • Undertake priority research to identify causes of population change, predict impacts of climate change and other stressors on species and habitats, and improve analytical tools.
  • Bridge Indigenous peoples’ ways of knowing and western science in all aspects of gathering and applying knowledge on migratory birds and their habitats.
  • Build the expertise and capacity to integrate conservation social science into conservation planning and delivery for migratory birds and their habitats.
  • Effectively manage and disseminate monitoring data and research results to support decision-making for conservation.
  • Work through the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada and the recovery process of species listed under the Species At Risk Act to improve migratory bird conservation.
  • Support effective management and expansion of the network of protected areas, Indigenous protected and conserved areas (IPCA), and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECM) to maximize values for migratory birds while optimizing co-benefits to other wildlife.​
  • Deliver a world class regulatory framework for conservation and management of migratory birds, including harvest, permitting, and incidental take.
  • Provide expertise and advice related to migratory birds to support assessment of project impacts and cumulative effects, and carbon sequestration.
  • Provide critical and timely input for emergency preparedness, including prevention/response measures and identification of priority areas of concern.
  • Work collaboratively to integrate migratory bird conservation considerations into policies and programs at all levels of government.
  • Build and maintain meaningful relationships with Indigenous peoples to support management and conservation of migratory birds.
  • Support and encourage domestic collaborations with non-governmental organizations, academia, industry, and other stakeholders to implement conservation measures for migratory birds.
  • Foster international partnerships to protect, conserve, and manage migratory bird populations and their habitats throughout the full annual life cycle.
  • Mobilize individuals and communities, while fostering diversity and inclusion, and empower them to take positive actions for migratory birds.

ECCC will leverage the “One Health” model, a collaborative, multi-sectoral, and transdisciplinary approach that recognizes the connection between people, animals, plants, and their shared natural environment to support wildlife health. In 2023–24, in collaboration with other federal departments, provincial and territorial counterparts, and Indigenous peoples, ECCC will continue to provide coordination, planning, research, and monitoring support to inform decision-making on emerging pathogens and the impacts of multiple stressors and cumulative effects on wildlife health. Using the collaborative “One Health” approach, the Pan-Canadian Approach to Wildlife Health will encourage collaboration and cooperation across the human, animal, and environmental sectors to achieve shared benefits. The approach will include an increase in surveillance and readiness/preparedness to address environmental changes that have impacts on all sectors, including advancing efforts to address issues surrounding Indigenous food safety and security and the maintenance of traditional ways of life. Through such collaboration across all sectors, the One Health approach can achieve the best health outcomes for people, animals, and plants in a shared environment.

ECCC will invest $1.080 million over two years in the Western Boreal Initiative to evaluate, with the Dene Nation, the cumulative effects of wildfire, predation, key pests, human disturbances, and climate change on the Western Boreal Forests of Canada. The Western Boreal Initiative is a collaboration between provinces, territories, and First Nations governments to protect the Western Boreal Forests of Canada, a massive area that stretches from the 50th parallel northward to the treeline.

Prairie Wetlands and Grasslands

The Government of Canada will invest more than $25 million over three years to conserve, restore and enhance critical wetlands and grasslands in the Prairie Provinces, including up to: $19.28 million for Ducks Unlimited, $4.05 million for Nature Conservancy of Canada and $2.4 million for Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. These initiatives are among fourteen projects to receive funding from the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund. Collectively, they are projected to conserve up to 30,000 hectares; restore up to 6,000 hectares; and contribute to the enhanced management of up to 18,000 hectares of wetlands, grasslands, and riparian areas.

The Department will continue to implement the $631 million Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF) to support projects that restore and enhance wetlands, peatlands and grasslands that store and capture carbon. In 2021, the Government of Canada established the $4 billion, ten-year Natural Climate Solutions Fund (NCSF)—led by Natural Resources Canada and in partnership with ECCC and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada—to address the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Budget 2022 announced an additional $780 million investment in the NSCSF to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions through nature-based solutions.

As a stream of this broader fund, the $631 million Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF) will focus on three main objectives: restoring degraded ecosystems; improving land management practices, especially in agriculture, forestry, and urban development sectors; and conserving carbon-rich ecosystems at high risk of conversion to other uses that would release their stored carbon. NSCSF funds will also support monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The Department will invest $9 million to better conserve lands across southern Ontario. ECCC will implement 63 projects delivered in cooperation with regional conservation authorities to achieve this objective. Activities will include a variety of conservation activities to protect more land, restore wetlands, and enhance agricultural management.

Departmental Result: Canada’s species at risk are recovered

The Enhanced Nature Legacy Initiative will continue to support the ongoing implementation of the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada through investments over five years, starting in 2021-22, of $209 million to implement conservation actions in priority places and $377 million to support recovery actions for priority species, which includes funding available to Indigenous peoples through the Indigenous Partnerships for Species at Risk initiative. The Enhanced Nature Legacy for Canada Initiative sets out a roadmap to protect Canada’s biodiversity through the protection of lands and waters, and conservation of species at risk. With this initiative and support from the Canada Nature Fund, the Pan-Canadian Approach will continue to promote and facilitate collaborative conservation efforts focused on a set of shared priority places, species, and sectors across Canada. This strategic approach is largely a shift from pursuing independent actions on single species, to concerted efforts in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders that address multiple species and broader ecosystems-based actions.

To deliver on key obligations and commitments to protect and recover species at risk under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), ECCC will continue working on policy and program improvements, including providing advice to processes under the Impact Assessment Act, while also continuing to modernize its approach to conservation by advancing the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Approach. ECCC will continue to engage with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, as well as scientists, industry, and other stakeholders, in the delivery of SARA activities. ECCC is also actively involved in various oversight engagements undertaken by the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development, as well as in an upcoming evaluation that will support the management of Species at Risk activities.

Protecting Boreal Caribou in Ontario and Québec

In 2022, Canada and Ontario reached an agreement to support the conservation and recovery of boreal caribou in the province. The boreal caribou is an iconic species. It is listed as a threatened species under both the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Ontario Endangered Species Act. By entering into a conservation agreement under section 11 of SARA, the governments of Canada and Ontario will collaborate to take important actions to benefit the caribou and its recovery in Ontario. Building on Ontario’s ongoing caribou conservation program and the federal caribou action plan, the joint agreement includes the following commitments:

  • planning and implementing habitat restoration activities;
  • increasing protection of boreal caribou habitat through protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures;
  • using evidence-based approaches to manage for self-sustaining local populations;
  • monitoring and reporting on current and projected future population and habitat conditions; and,
  • implementing collaborative conservation measures that are informed by independent experts, Indigenous communities and organizations, and stakeholders.

In 2023-24, ECCC will continue negotiations on a Canada-Québec agreement for the management, protection and recovery of the boreal caribou and the Atlantic-Gaspésie caribou in Québec.

In 2023–24, ECCC will continue to implement the Pan-Canadian Approach by supporting the recovery and conservation of six federal, provincial, and territorial priority species (Barren-ground Caribou [including the Dolphin and Union population], Boreal Caribou, Greater Sage-grouse, Peary Caribou, Southern Mountain Caribou, and Wood Bison) and other species of federal interest. ECCC will support recovery through collaborative efforts, including matched investments from partners and ongoing multi-jurisdictional conservation planning arrangements.

In 2023–24, ECCC will continue to invest in projects to support ongoing species at risk conservation in 11 federal-provincial-territorial priority places. For example, the Island Nature Trust will receive $600,000 through the Enhanced Nature Legacy to work with owners of forested wetlands and coastal forests in PEI to identify and protect forest habitat for species at risk. This habitat is known to support 10 species at risk including the Little Brown and Northern Myotis bat species and the Canada Warbler. ECCC will also continue to administer the Canada Nature Fund’s Community-Nominated Priority Places for Species at Risk, a multi-year funding initiative to protect and recover species at risk that is supporting 18 community-led projects that were selected through two open calls for proposals.

ECCC will continue to collaborate with partners and stakeholders to co-develop conservation action plans for species at risk with the forest, agriculture, and urban development sectors. The plans will seek to advance opportunities to achieve better conservation outcomes for species at risk and enhance sector sustainability.

In 2023-24, ECCC will advance Threat Risk Assessments to focus enforcement efforts on CITES listed species. Through strengthened partnerships with other government departments, provinces, and territories, ECCC will identify sources and methods to disrupt and discourage illegal wildlife trade with a focus on securing access to additional databases of illegal wildlife trade intelligence.

Departmental Result: Indigenous peoples are engaged in conservation

ECCC is initiating three distinctions-based Indigenous Nature Tables as part of its new external engagement model on nature with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. ECCC remains committed to meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples through the implementation of programs that support reconciliation and Indigenous-led action to achieve conservation outcomes. The Department will continue to renew nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous peoples as part of the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Approach and the federal Species at Risk Act. Under the Canada Nature Fund, partnerships with First Nations, Inuit and Métis will advance the conservation of species at risk in a manner that recognizes and enables Indigenous leadership, knowledge systems and interests in land management. In 2023–24, projects will contribute to building Indigenous partners’ capacity to:

Learning from Indigenous Partners

Indigenous Guardians rely on the experience and Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous partners from across the country to ensure that lands and waters are taken care of for generations to come. For example, in August 2022, ECCC announced funding for over 80 new and existing Guardians initiatives that will enable First Nations, Inuit and Métis to monitor ecological health, maintain cultural sites and protect sensitive areas and species, while creating jobs.

ECCC is initiating three distinctions-based Indigenous Nature Tables in order to establish a co-development approach that includes capacity support to Indigenous partners. The tables will serve as venues to amplify the voices of Indigenous peoples and their leadership in nature conservation initiatives for which the Department has lead responsibilities. They will also offer a more coordinated approach to seeking the advice of Indigenous peoples on shared priorities to achieve collaborative results.

ECCC will continue to implement the $340 million investment over five years to support Indigenous Guardians and Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). Supporting Indigenous engagement in conservation is integral to the achievement of Canada’s domestic and global biodiversity targets. Launched in 2021, this $340 million investment continues to support new and existing Indigenous-led Guardians initiatives and the development of national Indigenous Guardians Networks. Funding for Indigenous Guardians is co-designed and co-delivered in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners using a distinctions-basedFootnote 16  approach. It supports Indigenous Nations, communities, and organizations in protecting sensitive and culturally important areas and species, monitoring ecological health, developing and maintaining sustainable economies, and continuing the profound connections between natural landscapes and Indigenous cultures.

In 2023-24, ECCC will continue to build the capacity of Indigenous communities to advance the weaving of Indigenous Knowledge in four regional assessments under the Impact Assessment Act:

This work will help ensure that ECCC advice better reflects Indigenous rights, values and interests during decision-making. In addition, efforts will continue to incorporate Indigenous Traditional Knowledge in species assessments undertaken by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada’s (COSEWIC).

Additional Expected Departmental Results

The Department’s on-the-ground enforcement officers will continue to verify compliance with wildlife legislation and associated regulations that protect migratory birds, species at risk, wildlife in trade and ECCC’s 177 protected habitats. ECCC, in collaboration with its partners, will continue to prioritize its activities according to the risk and impact of non-compliance, including areas and species of concern that are vulnerable to illegal activities. The Department will continue to concentrate on capacity building by on-boarding and training newly recruited enforcement officers, and by providing re-certification training for existing designated enforcement officers.

Gender-based analysis plus
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ECCC will continue to work to achieve protection and recovery goals for species, while recognizing that Indigenous reserves and lands often provide important refuge for species at risk and migratory birds and that Canada’s Indigenous peoples are also the holders of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (TIK) essential to achieving these goals. To reduce the impact of consultation fatigue and repeated gathering of ITK on species, the Department will focus its efforts on ecosystem-based and multi-species conservation approaches, and on improving coordination among federal departments and provincial/territorial governments. In its efforts to meet Canada’s biodiversity commitments, ECCC will work to increase its capacity to conserve biodiversity in Canada, including by increasing engagement of Indigenous communities in conservation initiatives. Through the federal assessment process, the Department will continue to provide expert advice and knowledge to support resource development decisions that mitigate negative impacts on vulnerable populations and all Canadians. The Department will also continue to strengthen its hiring practices to increase representation of the Canadian population in its enforcement workforce.

Key risks

ECCC’s conservation and recovery efforts must be based in science and grounded on the collection and leveraging of information needed to support timely, evidence-based decision-making. There is the risk that the department will not be able to leverage available sources of information to support evidence-based decision making due to such factors as the absence of appropriate scientific and IT tools to collect, share, and analyze the increasing volume and complexity of data, and limited funds/resources available to develop it. To mitigate this risk, ECCC will continue to invest in its IT infrastructure, including emerging technologies, cloud-based solutions, and its enterprise architecture to support operations.

There is the risk that the department will have difficulties attracting, developing, and retaining qualified employees to support its conservation and recovery efforts due in part to a highly competitive and transforming labour market, as well as challenges in the Department’s processes related to succession planning, classification, and staffing. To mitigate this risk, ECCC will continue to implement recruitment strategies targeted in key areas and align these strategies through HR planning. The Department will also continue to implement succession planning and talent management initiatives to retain and attract a qualified workforce.

United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals
icon for United Nations 2030 agenda

In defining a whole of government view of federal sustainability commitments and actions, the 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), developed and coordinated by ECCC, supports Canada’s overall response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. ECCC’s new Pan-Canadian Approach to Species at Risk and its substantial new investments in federal and other protected areas under its Nature Legacy initiative, combined with ongoing action for wetlands protection, habitat stewardship, and wildlife conservation, will serve to: conserve biodiversity and the quality and viability of natural ecosystems; preserve and restore air and water quality; and promote sustainable land use and wildlife harvesting practices. These will primarily support the UN sustainable development goals of life in water (Goal 14) and life on land (Goal 15).

ECCC also contributes to Goal 17, as the lead in the negotiation and implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other conventions, including on resource mobilization and biodiversity financing. This work aims to ensure adequate financing for biodiversity policy in order to achieve the goals and targets related to the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of biodiversity and nature. In doing so, the department aims to ensure coherence between international and domestic biodiversity efforts.

The federal implementation plan for the 2030 Agenda commits the government to approach the SDGs in a manner that is guided by human rights principles and advances reconciliation with Indigenous peoples by fully respecting and protecting their rights. In 2021, the federal UN Declaration Act (UNDA) received royal assent, thus compelling all departments to align their work with the rights articulated in the UN Declaration. ECCC's implementation of the Act will provide an opportunity to make linkages between protection, stewardship and conservation, and protecting and respecting all rights of Indigenous peoples.

For more information on actions under this Core Responsibility that contribute to the UN SDGs, please consult ECCC’s Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2020 to 2023.

Commitment to innovation: Investing in nature and natural climate solutions
Program of Applied Research on Climate Action (PARCA)

Increasing the amount of land protected through other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) and land donated through the Ecological Gifts Program (EGP) will help Canada make progress towards conservation targets. PARCA will take a mixed-methods approach, relying on both quantitative (such as surveys) and qualitative (such as interviews) data, to explore what factors underpin decisions to donate land or have lands recognized as OECM. Results will help inform best practices in communication between government and stakeholders, and what the best incentives are to encourage participation in conservation initiatives.

Planned results for Conserving Nature

The following table shows, for Conserving Nature, the planned results, the result indicators, the targets and the target dates for 2023–24, and the actual results for the three most recent fiscal years for which actual results are available.

Departmental Result: Canada’s wildlife and habitat are conserved and protected
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Percentage of migratory bird species that are within target population ranges 70% December 2030 57% Results not yet available. Not yet availableFootnote 17
Percentage of Canadian areas conserved as protected areas and other effective areas-based conservation measures 25% of terrestrial lands and inland waters conserved March 2025 12.1% 12.5% 13.5%Footnote 18 
Departmental Result: Canada’s species at risk are recovered
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Percentage of species at risk for which changes in populations are consistent with recovery and management objectives 60% May 2025 41%Footnote 19 42%Footnote 19  41%Footnote 19
Departmental Result: Indigenous peoples are engaged in conservation
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Percentage of Indigenous peoples engaged with ECCC who indicate that the engagement was meaningful 61% April of each year. 69% 64% 70%

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase

Planned budgetary spending for Conserving Nature

The following table shows, for Conserving Nature, budgetary spending for 2023–24, as well as planned spending for that year and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2023–24
planned spending
2024–25
planned spending
2025–26
planned spending
677,409,744 677,409,744 705,019,220 683,121,654

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned human resources for Conserving Nature

The following table shows, in full-time equivalents, the human resources the Department will need to fulfill this core responsibility for 2023–24 and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24 planned
full-time equivalents
2024–25 planned
full-time equivalents
2025–26 planned
full-time equivalents.
1,243 1,262 1,233

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Core Responsibility: Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions

Description

Provide authoritative forecasts, warnings, data, and information services related to weather, hydrological, and environmental conditions using a wide range of dissemination systems to help Canadians, public authorities, and targeted weather sensitive sectors make informed decisions about health, safety, and economic prosperity. This will be achieved by: monitoring weather, water quantity, ice, air quality and climate conditions; conducting research and development activities targeting continuous improvement; operating advanced integrated weather and environmental prediction models using high performance computing platforms; exchanging data in near real time, on a continual basis, with members of the World Meteorological Organization to ensure accurate and timely predictions; and collaborating closely with other nations’ weather and hydrologic institutions, and international organizations, to improve services for citizens everywhere.

Planning highlights

Departmental Result: Canadians use authoritative weather and related information to make decisions about their health and safety

Established in 1871—just four years after Confederation—the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) is one of Canada’s longest-standing government institutions. Now an integral service within ECCC, MSC has a long and proud history of serving Canadians with accurate and timely information on weather and environmental conditions to help them make decisions about their health, safety, and economic well-being. ECCC will continue to improve its meteorological services through its scientific expertise, a leading-edge approach to data management, and a continued focus on the changing needs of its clients and stakeholders.

High Performance Computing (HPC)

Canada’s HPC is composed of supercomputers and is among the fastest in the world. The HPC uses mathematical models of the atmosphere and oceans to predict the weather, and advancements in technology and science have allowed us to go beyond traditional weather forecasts and into environmental applications, such as air quality, oceanography, sea ice, wave, and water level forecasts. For instance, meteorologists predict air quality levels of nitrogen oxides, ozone and harmful particles released from wildfires.

Every day, ECCC uses a state-of-the-art High Performance Computing (HPC) system to bring together 13 million observations about Canada’s environment and other data available from domestic and international partners. In the context of a changing climate and more frequent and intense high-impact weather events, the provision of timely and high-quality weather services becomes increasingly important. To continue providing accurate and timely information to Canadians, ECCC is expanding its computing and analytical capacity with a planned upgrade to the High Performance Computer infrastructure that will support the evolving needs of the Department.

The Department’s meteorologists and scientists in prediction centres across the country use the supercomputer numerical model results transform them into warnings, forecasts, and expert advice for weather and extreme weather conditions. These are relied upon for decision-making by public authorities such as emergency managers, aviation companies, stakeholders, and everyday Canadians. In 2023-24, ECCC will continue to improve the accessibility and reliability of its data offering.

Climate change and the changing lexicon of Canadians

As a result of the changing climate, the frequency and intensity of significant weather events is increasing. Previously uncommon weather terms like Derecho, atmospheric river, and heat dome are now more common and being increasingly tied to threats to Canadians. As a result, our Canadian lexicon may change in-step.

ECCC will continue to leverage social media and emergency alerts to communicate so Canadians can make informed decisions to mitigate weather and climate change risks to life, property, and the environment. ECCC’s state-of-the-art weather forecasting systems will continue to alert Canadians of approaching high impact weather such as severe storms, heatwaves, atmospheric rivers, and hurricanes. Meteorologists will continue to focus their attention on the storms that have the potential to affect Canada, such as the Derecho event that swept through southern Ontario and Quebec in May 2022, and the record-breaking Hurricane Fiona that tracked through Atlantic Canada in September 2022. Both events were costly and tragically deadly - driving home the importance of timely and accurate forecasts and warnings. As a result of a recent evaluation, ECCC will enhance its focus on vulnerable Canadians and communities, particularly given Canada’s changing climate and associated unprecedented weather that may pose increased risks for them, such as heat waves and floods. Specifically, Canadians continue to have access to updated forecasts and warnings by visiting ECCC’s weather web site, the WeatherCAN app, and subscribing to ECCC’s hurricane e-bulletins. Through the WeatherCAN app, Canadians can access current weather conditions and receive push notifications for weather alerts for locations anywhere in Canada.

In 2023-24, ECCC will continue to develop tailored weather products for this application, focusing on potential impacts of a weather situation by allowing Canadians to identify their level of risk of which they want to be notified. Surveys conducted in 2022 have demonstrated that traditional and social media continue to play a critical role in amplifying the weather message, which along with the AlertReady broadcast immediate functionality, will continue to deliver high-impact weather related information into the hands of Canadians.

The Department will continue to invest in upgrading infrastructure and innovating to improve its weather and environmental monitoring and forecasting systems. ECCC will continue to invest in the continuous improvement of weather and environmental prediction models (for example, for high-impact weather and flooding) and technical innovations, such as the development and implementation of active radar, lidar sensors and observing instruments.

In 2023–24, ECCC will complete the Government of Canada’s $180.4 million Canadian Weather Radar Replacement Program to replace outdated technology with 33 new state-of-the-art radars. As of mid-year 2022-23, 28 new radar systems have been installed in several communities across Canada, and the final five radars are expected to be completed by December 2023. Radars are the primary tools used by meteorologists to forecast short-term severe weather events associated with thunderstorms, tornadoes, ice storms, and blizzards. The new radars use the most modern technology available to provide more detailed information on precipitation type and storm structure and will allow ECCC to give Canadians greater lead time to protect themselves and their property. Doppler lidars complement traditional upper-air monitoring networks, providing automated and continuous vertical profiles of winds, aerosols, and clouds in the lower atmosphere, and can be used to improve short-term forecasts and fill gaps in ECCC’s observation network. It is expected to augment warning capabilities in high-impact weather conditions. They will be deployed in targeted areas to assess the feasibility of their implementation in operations. Lidars also offer an important step towards environmentally sustainable atmospheric monitoring technologies.

As climate change increases the frequency of droughts and floods, ECCC will invest in modernizing national water monitoring for Canadians. Systematic monitoring of water levels and flow has always been a priority in Canada and continues to be increasingly important as Canada’s climate is warming at twice the average global rate. A warmer climate means more weather extremes, including more droughts and floods. ECCC provides high-quality-data and information on water levels and flows in real time to provincial and territorial partners, such as emergency management organizations, and weather-sensitive businesses. This helps them to prepare for weather events, such as floods and droughts, and to become more resilient to the consequences of climate change.

ECCC’s National Hydrological Service Program received an investment of $89.9M over 6 years, from 2018 to 2024, to modernize and improve the water quantity monitoring program as well as to manage Canada’s changing water resources more effectively. This investment consists of four major components, two of which (Capacity building and Prediction) will be closing out in March 2023, with the two others (Infrastructure and Innovation) ending in March 2024. Capacity has been reinforced with several new positions, requiring specific skills sets and expertise, now fully integrated within the Hydrological Service Program. In addition, the roll out of improved integrated water prediction information services will be complete in March 2023. Modernization of hydrometric infrastructure network and testing of innovative technologies in specific sites across Canada will continue in 2023-24.

Keeping an Eye on Cyclones

On average, the Canadian Hurricane Centre responds to three or four tropical cyclone events each year, with one or two of those affecting Canadian soil, and another two or three threatening offshore waters. Typically, hurricanes are of greater concern in Canadian waters later in the season; however, the Canadian Hurricane Centre monitors the Atlantic Ocean year-round for any tropical or tropical-like cyclones that could impact Canada or its waters. During hurricane season and all year-round, ECCC’s meteorologists and scientists work around the clock to provide accurate forecasts to help citizens and weather-sensitive businesses and industry to be prepared when a storm is on its way.

In 2023-24, ECCC will continue working with partners to support Canada’s Emergency Management Strategy, flood mapping and other emergency preparedness and resilience efforts. ECCC supports the Government of Canada’s priority to improve the resilience of communities most at risk of flooding by contributing to disasters by contributing to various initiatives under the Emergency Management Strategy of 2019. One of these, the National Risk Profile initiative, aims to improve understanding of disaster risks in all sectors of society, through capability and risk assessments of current response readiness in the face of all hazards, based on likelihood and magnitude. In its first round, this process assessed the risks associated with floods, wildland fires and earthquakes, and as part of its second, it is now assessing heat events, space weather, and hurricanes.

As part of another initiative under the Emergency Management Strategy, ECCC is working with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Public Safety Canada to modernize best practices for consistent floodplain mapping in Canada. This includes engaging with provinces and territories to inform flood mapping engineering methods and approaches to assess flood maps and support NRCan in advancing a national flood-mapping standard. ECCC experts have reviewed the Federal Hydrologic and Hydraulic Procedures for Flood Hazard Delineation, which will be published following the current peer review from the provinces and territories.

Under the Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping Program (FHIMP), ECCC is providing science and engineering support to NRCan to ensure that flood maps are scientifically valid and provide robust information to support decision-makers, including for municipal planning and urban development. ECCC is also working with academia to further develop flood science and integrate the impacts of climate change in flood maps. The resulting information will be provided to provinces and territories to help in their floodplain management activities. ECCC is also providing ongoing support to provinces and territories with their flood mapping activities.

In addition, ECCC is developing a national prediction system with the capability of generating forecasts and alerts for coastal flooding in response to the growing frequency and severity of storm surge events, and in support of resilient coastal communities and safer near-shore marine navigation. To further increase resilience, the development of Hurricane (Tropical Cyclones) national risk scenarios as part of the National Risk Profile will help the department support preparedness efforts across the country.

Gender-based analysis plus
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ECCC will continue to gear its weather forecasts, warnings and expert advice concerning extreme weather and environmental events (such as floods, heatwaves, or wildland fires) to support the needs of Canadians, including, northern/rural dwellers, older Canadians and children, people with chronic diseases and people experiencing homelessness. To enhance the reach of ECCC information, ECCC has adopted strategies to better communicate risk to a wide variety of Canadians and prepare them for the potential impacts of hazardous weather. ECCC will continue to provide weather and environmental information through a wide range of platforms, notably the WeatherCAN application, weather website, automated telephone system “Hello Weather,” and weather radios. Provincial and territorial authorities, Northern, Indigenous and remote communities, and other specialized clients can also use ECCC’s hydrometric data in combination with socio-economic data to identify potential impacts of water hazards on various groups and to implement mitigation measures accordingly. The Department will continue to improve the accessibility and documentation of its weather and environmental data and services, based on the results of stakeholder engagement.

Key risks

To fulfill its mandate and deliver mission-critical weather and environmental prediction services to Canadians, the Department relies on its capital and technological infrastructure which requires maintenance and sustainable investment to prevent rust-out, maximize the benefits of technological advances, ensure functionality in increasingly complex systems and our changing climate, and meet evolving user needs. To protect against potential risks, ECCC invests significantly in its infrastructure and is enhancing its planning capabilities to better assess enterprise-wide deficits, align funding needs with priorities, and secure expertise. At the same time, ECCC also invests in expanding partnerships and external collaboration to access data from other providers.

The Department’s capacity to access, collect, share, analyze, and use increasingly voluminous and complex data is critical to sustain core operations and ensure timely delivery of world-class meteorological, environmental, and hydrological information and services for Canadians. Access to high performance computing infrastructure enables ECCC to operate the complex modelling systems that are at the heart of its 24/7 mission-critical weather, climate and weather-related advisories and warnings. To guard against any risks that might hamper these capacities, ECCC will continue to invest in high performance computing, explore and implement strategies to enhance data governance and transparency, enable a sustainable data structure and promote a data culture across the organization. ECCC is also investigating information management systems and tools to enhance data management and allow for data mining, branch interoperability and inter-branch information sharing.

ECCC is the authoritative source of information for weather, water quantity, climate, ice, and air quality conditions in Canada. Providing accurate and timely information, including forecasts and warnings, to Canadians is essential to maintain this reputation. The Department follows a regular planning cycle for periodic investments focused on priority areas and a rigorous ISO certified quality management system.

United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals
icon for United Nations 2030 agenda

In defining a whole of government view of federal sustainability commitments and actions, the 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), developed and coordinated by ECCC, supports Canada’s overall response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. ECCC’s weather, hydrological and environmental observations, forecasts, and warnings, including its water monitoring programs, are vital for governments, industry, and citizens alike to make daily decisions related to weather-dependent economic activities. ECCC’s work on improving services to public authorities and the emergency management community supports efforts in increasing the resilience of the poor and vulnerable, and reducing their exposure to extreme climate-related events and emergencies (Sustainable Development Goal 1 and 2022-26 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Chapter 1). ECCC’s work under the Air Quality Program and on the Air Quality Health Index, together with its extreme weather warnings, contribute to public health and safety (Goal 3). More generally, the accumulated knowledge about weather and climate patterns and trends supports the development of effective long-term strategies for water and air quality management, action on climate change, and conservation of marine resources for sustainable development (Goal 13). ECCC’s presence on the international stage, such as participation in the World Meteorological Organization, helps to influence and advance global priorities, including the provision of funding and expertise in support of the UN Secretary General’s 2022 pledge to ensure all citizens on Earth are protected with early warning systems against extreme weather and climate change within five years.

The federal implementation plan for the 2030 Agenda commits the government to approach the Sustainable Development Goals in a manner guided by human rights principles and advances reconciliation with Indigenous peoples by fully respecting and protecting their rights. In 2021, the federal UN Declaration Act (UNDA) received royal assent compelling all departments to align their work with the rights articulated in the UN Declaration. ECCC's implementation of the Act will provide an opportunity to make linkages between weather, water and environmental observations, forecasts and accumulated knowledge and protecting and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.

For more information on actions under this Core Responsibility that contribute to the UN SDGs, please consult ECCC’s Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2020 to 2023.

Planned results for Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions

The following table shows, for Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions, the planned results, the result indicators, the targets and the target dates for 2023–24, and the actual results for the three most recent fiscal years for which actual results are available.

Departmental Result: Canadians use authoritative weather and related information to make decisions about their health and safety
Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 actual result 2020–21 actual result 2021–22 actual result
Index of the timeliness and accuracy of severe weather warnings on a scale of 0 to 10 At least 8.4 on a scale of 1 to 10. June 2024 8.8
(three-year rolling average 2017–19).
8.8
(three-year rolling average 2018-20).
8.8
(three-year rolling average 2019-21)
Percentage of program partners rating their satisfaction with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s hydrological services as 8 out of 10 or higher 80% May 31, 2023 First results will be reported in 2022–23. They will be available after the publication of this plan.

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase

Planned budgetary spending for Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions

The following table shows, for Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions, budgetary spending for 2023–24, as well as planned spending for that year and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2023–24
planned spending
2024–25
planned spending
2025–26
planned spending
229,586,460 229,586,460 181,108,799 181,087,485

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase

Planned human resources for Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions

The following table shows, in full-time equivalents, the human resources the Department will need to fulfill this core responsibility for 2023–24 and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24 planned
full-time equivalents
2024–25 planned
full-time equivalents
2025–26 planned
full-time equivalents.
1,566 1,544 1,544

Financial, human resources and performance information for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services: planned results

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communications Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Management Services
  • Materiel Management Services
  • Acquisition Management Services

Planning highlights

Digital Service Modernization

The Department has adopted its five-year Digital Modernization Roadmap to achieve four objectives: modernizing services to digital, becoming a data driven organization, enabling digital assets platforms and having a modern workforce. The Department will continue to analyze its services and supporting applications with the aim of further digitally transforming service delivery and internal operations.

The Department remains committed to implementing its new Accessibility Plan to provide a supportive, respectful, and stigma-free environment that promotes employee wellness. ECCC’s Culture of Care is founded upon the principle that employees feel safe talking about mental health and raising concerns, and that employees and managers are empathetic, promote professional support, and look out for one another by checking in regularly and staying connected. In 2023–24, ECCC will continue to develop and promote its workplace values and ethics resources, mental health and wellness tools, and provide ongoing support, advice and guidance on accommodation and disability management and accessibility tools. ECCC will also introduce a feedback mechanism that supports the implementation of the Department’s new Accessibility Plan (released in 2022) and will ensure compliance with the Accessible Canada Act (ACA), which aims to achieve an accessible Canada by 2040, guided and supported by the newly established position of Accessibility Commissioner for Canada.

The Department will continue to offer services and support to employees under the Employee Assistance program—a voluntary and confidential service to help all ECCC employees and, in most instances, also family members, who have personal concerns that affect their personal wellbeing and/or work performance.

ECCC will continue to implement its Diversity, Inclusion and Employment Equity Strategy. Advancing the principles, values and goals of Diversity, Inclusion and Employment Equity remains a critical departmental and Government-wide priority. ECCC will continue to collaborate with employee-led networks and committees that advocate, contribute to, and support policies and initiatives that enrich diversity, inclusion, and employment equity throughout the Department. ECCC’s 2021–2024 Diversity, Inclusion and Employment Equity Strategy, launched in June 2021, was inspired by feedback from ECCC networks, as well as the Clerk of the Privy Council’s Call to Action on Anti-racism, Equity, and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service. The Department’s Strategy includes a twenty-point action plan that sets out specific, bold, and measurable actions to build a diverse and inclusive workforce by closing employment equity gaps under four broad pillars: recruitment; employee development and retention; education and awareness; and support to key elements in governance, including employee and management-led networks. ECCC will continue to implement and renew the departmental Inuit Employment Plan in line with the whole of government Inuit Employment Plan and establish meaningful objectives and take purposeful action to work towards Nunavut Agreement article 23 obligations.

ECCC will continue to provide tools and advice to employees to support meaningful inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in the development of policies, programs, and legislation, and in the delivery of ECCC evaluations. To facilitate the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives, ECCC’s Practical Guide to Indigenous Consultation and Engagement was developed to provide culturally competent and legally sound policy advice to officials that consult and engage with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners. Updates to the guide are currently underway to reflect new obligations and policies such as the implementation of the federal UN Declaration Act, the Inuit Nunangat Policy, as well as changes to processes internal to the Department.

ECCC will continue taking steps to address the risks and consequences of workplace harassment and violence by implementing the Work Place harassment and Violence Prevention Policy. In 2023-24, ECCC will continue to implement the Workplace harassment and Violence Prevention Policy, introduced in January 2021. The policy seeks to identify workplace factors that lead to harassment and violence and take necessary preventative steps. It also supports measures to investigate and resolve workplace harassment and violence situations when they occur and provide support to affected employees. In addition, in 2023-24, the Department will initiate a review and update of its Values and Ethics Code, which was first adopted in 2012.

Employee Networks and Committees Meeting Diverse Needs and Interests

ECCC will continue to encourage and support the creation and operations of a wide range of employee networks and committees devoted to raising awareness and sharing ideas, information, and support on matters of mutual interest, particularly those that reflect and address the diversity of the Department’s work force:

  • Indigenous Employees Network
  • Official Languages Network
  • Accessibility Network
  • Respectful Workplace Committee
  • National Youth Network
  • Women in Science and Technology Committee
  • LGBTQ+ Network
  • Black Employees Network
  • Visible Minorities Network
  • Managers Network
  • Executive Network

Staffing processes and human resources supports will assist in meeting the need for skilled, competent, and dedicated employees and managers. To fulfill its mandate, the Department relies on highly qualified and specialized personnel. Faced with a highly competitive labour market, the evolution of ECCC’s business requirements is driving a need for new skills and competencies to address complex policy, program, scientific and regulatory issues. To ensure it has the capacity to respond quickly and effectively to emerging human resources priorities, ECCC will continue to maintain flexibility to realign resources to priority files, and support managers in human resources and succession planning to attract and retain highly qualified and experienced personnel in a timely manner.

ECCC will continue to support employees affected by the government-wide pay transformation initiative and will support Public Services and Procurement Canada in addressing the backlog of pay issues. The Department will continue to contribute to the government-wide HR-to-Pay stabilization efforts, including various Human Resources and Pay system initiatives.

The Department will continue to adapt and adjust to a post-COVID-19 workplace by aligning workplace policies to public health guidance and continuing to invest in its digital transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to influence the way the Department conducts its business. Early in the pandemic, ECCC implemented strategies to bolster its digital transformation to support virtual work, including extensive use of MS 365 and cloud-based collaboration tools. In 2023–24, ECCC’s workplace policies that are impacted by COVID-19 will continue to align with public health guidelines. In consideration of the GoC direction regarding the modernization and associated reduction of the office footprint, and to address the recommendations of the TBS Horizontal Fixed Asset Review (HFAR), the Department will undertake a planning exercise leading to the full review of its real property portfolio. In support of the changing way that ECCC employees are working, the department will also modernize its workspace, providing an effective and efficient footprint, and improving workspace experience for staff in a hybrid work environment. The Department will consolidate experiences and lessons learned during the pandemic to support future of work with employees adopting the hybrid work model.

ECCC will renew its Data and Analytics Strategy in 2023-24 to continue to advance its data management and analytics vision and support its digital service modernization agenda for the next three years. Digital initiatives enable the work of ECCC’s scientists to inform and support its programs and priorities. The Department remains committed to implementing a data strategy, modernizing its digital services to Canadians and businesses, ensuring that timely information is available to support decision-making and scientific studies, and building upon existing digital service investments to improve access to authoritative data and information.

ECCC’s data strategy will align with the Government of Canada’s new Federal Data Strategy and aim to build on the progress achieved by its original data strategy to further operationalize and streamline its internal data and analytics services, publish domain-specific data standards to increase availability and interoperability of data, and support the implementation of multiple data initiatives that benefit ECCC, its partners, the federal public service, and Canadians at large.

ECCC remains committed to transitioning to net-zero carbon and climate-resilient operations while also reducing other environmental impacts, including on waste, water, and biodiversity. The Department will continue to implement measures and assess its performance to support the government-wide goal of reducing energy-related GHG emissions from Government of Canada operations by 40 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025. ECCC will continue to work towards diverting at least 75 per cent of non-hazardous operational and plastic waste, and 90 per cent of construction and demolition waste, from landfills by 2030, as per the Government of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy. In 2023-24, ECCC will deliver employee training on green procurement practices and continue to implement the departmental waste management action plan to reduce the generation and increase the diversion of non-hazardous operational waste.

ECCC will continue to improve its operations through internal audits and evaluations of its operations, program delivery, and administration. Internal audit and evaluation services provide assurance on governance, risk management and internal controls, as well as information and data on the efficacy and efficiency with which departmental programs are achieving their objectives. ECCC will continue to work collaboratively with federal partners, such as the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) and the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD), the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada (OCG), and the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC), to provide assurance regarding the sound implementation, relevance and effectiveness of departmental programs and policies.

Planning for Contracts Awarded to Indigenous Businesses

ECCC will continue to work toward meeting or exceeding the minimum 5 per cent target of contracts awarded to indigenous businesses by no later than April 1, 2024. To achieve this objective, the Department is working to reconcile its contracts with the indigenous supplier database at Indigenous Services Canada to ensure contracts with indigenous businesses are properly identified and reported. In addition, ECCC is targeting voluntary set-aside opportunities with indigenous businesses where feasible and appropriate.

Planned budgetary Financial Resources for Internal Services

The following table shows, for internal services, budgetary spending for 2023–24, as well as planned spending for that year and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2023–24
planned spending
2024–25
planned spending
2025–26
planned spending
241,892,170 241,892,170 235,787,270 234,022,673

Planned human resources for Internal Services

The following table shows, in full‑time equivalents, the human resources the department will need to carry out its internal services for 2023–24 and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2023–24 planned
full-time equivalents
2024–25 planned
full-time equivalents
2025–26 planned
full-time equivalents.
1,787 1,776 1,767

Planned spending and human resources

This section of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s 2023–24 Departmental Plan describes the spending and human resources by programs through which the Department delivers its mandate.

Planned spending

Departmental spending 2020–21 to 2025–26

The following graph presents planned spending (voted and statutory expenditures) over time.

Departmental Spending Trend

Text description
Departmental Spending Trend (dollars)
- 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26
Statutory 209,179,793 101,529,765 155,936,980 112,002,268 109,218,480 107,265,448
Voted 1,537,606,795 1,611,358,900 2,054,745,275 2,334,075,406 2,237,591,743 2,105,001,087
Total 1,746,786,588 1,712,888,665 2,210,682,255 2,446,077,674 2,346,810,223 2,212,266,535

Note: Environment and Climate Change Canada will seek funding renewal for priority initiatives. Funding requests for such initiatives are subject to government decisions and will be reflected in future Budget exercises and Estimates documents.

For fiscal years 2020-21 and 2021-22, the amounts shown represent the actual expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts.

For fiscal year 2022-23, the forecast spending represents the planned budgetary and statutory expenditures as presented in the Estimates documents (Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates approved to date), the Operating and Capital Budget carry forward, the approved reprofiles of funds to future years, and other adjustments from Treasury Board central votes.

For the period from 2023-24 to 2025-26, the planned spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support departmental priorities.

Environment and Climate Change Canada's actual spending for 2021–22 was $1,712.9 million, a year-over-year decrease of $33.9 million (1.9%) from the 2020–21 actual spending. This decrease is mainly due to a reduction in the funding profile of activities related to temporary initiatives such as: the Climate Action Incentive Fund and the conservation of the Central Group of Southern Mountain Caribou in British Columbia. This decrease is partially offset by new funding received to conserve Canada’s land and freshwater, protect species, advance Indigenous reconciliation and increase access to nature, to implement natural climate solutions in Canada and for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.

The increase of $497.8 million (29.0%) from 2021-22 actual expenditures of $1,712.9 million to 2022-23 forecast spending of $2,210.7 million is mainly due to an increase of funds for the Low Carbon Economy Fund, conserve Canadaʼs land and freshwater, protect species, advance Indigenous reconciliation and increase access to nature , in addition to new funding approved since the 2022-23 Main Estimates, namely; funding for the Output-Based Pricing System, to provide the location for the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, for the Canada’s International Climate Finance Program and to implement natural climate solutions in Canada.

For explanations of the variance between 2022-23 forecast spending and 2025-26 planned spending, please see the Budgetary planning summary section.

Budgetary planning summary for core responsibilities and internal services (dollars)

The following table shows information on spending for each of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s core responsibilities and for its Internal Services for 2023-24 and other relevant fiscal years.

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2020-21
actual expenditures
2021-22
actual expenditures
2022-23
Forecast Spending
2023-24
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2023-24
planned spending
2024-25
planned spending
2025-26
planned spending
Taking action on Clean Growth and Climate Change 495,862,449 381,382,505 615,227,073 876,753,252 876,753,252 858,285,411 790,493,285
Preventing and Managing Pollution 360,265,374 380,061,047 424,633,343 420,436,048 420,436,048 366,609,523 323,541,438
Conserving Nature 366,851,749 413,663,898 619,008,561 677,409,744 677,409,744 705,019,220 683,121,654
Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions 252,729,020 274,731,867 306,777,514 229,586,460 229,586,460 181,108,799 181,087,485
Subtotal 1,475,708,592 1,449,839,317 1,965,646,491 2,204,185,504 2,204,185,504 2,111,022,953 1,978,243,862
Internal services 271,077,996 263,049,348 245,035,764 241,892,170 241,892,170 235,787,270 234,022,673
Total 1,746,786,588 1,712,888,665 2,210,682,255 2,446,077,674 2,446,077,674 2,346,810,223 2,212,266,535

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures.

Budgetary planning summary

Excluding funding announced in Budget 2023, approximately $2,446.1 million in total funding is anticipated for 2023−24. The increase of $235.4 million from 2022−23 forecast spending to 2023−24 planned spending is mainly due to new funding received for the Low Carbon Economy Fund, to implement natural climate solutions in Canada and an increasing funding profile to conserve Canada’s land and freshwater, protect species, advance Indigenous reconciliation and increase access to nature. This increase is partially offset by the sunsetting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the revitalization of meteorological services.

Overall, there is a decrease in planned spending over the 2023−24 to 2025−26 planning horizon presented in the summary table. This is the result of sunsetting initiatives with temporary funding. Additional funding for such initiatives are subject to government decisions and will be reflected in future Budget exercises and Estimates documents.

Major initiatives whose funding profile will decrease or sunset in 2024−25 include:

Major initiatives whose funding profile will decrease or sunset in 2025–26 include:

2023-24 Budgetary planned gross spending summary (dollars)

The following table reconciles gross planned spending with net planned spending for 2023–24.

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2023-24
planned gross spending
2023-24
planned revenues netted against expenditures
2024-24
planned net spending
Taking action on Clean Growth and Climate Change 876,753,252 0 876,753,252
Preventing and Managing Pollution 438,346,595 -17,910,547 420,436,048
Conserving Nature 680,051,532 -2,641,788 677,409,744
Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions 282,686,690 -53,100,230 229,586,460
Subtotal 2,277,838,069 -73,662,565 2,204,185,504
Internal services 243,253,978 -1,361,808 241,892,170
Total 2,521,092,047 -75,024,373 2,446,077,674

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures.

Environment and Climate Change Canada's major sources of revenues netted against expenditures are the following:

Planned human resources

The following table shows information on human resources, in full-time equivalents (FTEs), for each of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s core responsibility and for its Internal Services for 2023-24 and other relevant years.

Human resources planning summary for core responsibilities and internal services (FTEs)*
Core responsibilities and internal services 2020-21
actual FTEs
2021-22
actual FTEs
2022-23
forecast FTEs
2023-24
planned FTEs
2024-25
planned FTEs
2025-26
planned FTEs
Taking action on Clean Growth and Climate Change 611 744 863 906 926 896
Preventing and Managing Pollution 2,232 2,229 2,238 2,197 2,059 2,052
Conserving Nature 1,197 1,302 1,460 1,243 1,262 1,233
Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions 1,700 1,714 1,717 1,566 1,544 1,544
Subtotal 5,740 5,989 6,278 5,912 5,791 5,725
Internal services 1,604 1,698 1,835 1,787 1,776 1,767
Total 7,344 7,687 8,113 7,699 7,567 7,492

*Totals may differ within and between tables due to rounding of figures. The FTE numbers throughout this document include students.

One FTE equals one person working a 37.5-hour work week for the entire year, or any number of part-time employees whose combined hours of work equal one FTE.

For fiscal years 2020−21 and 2021−22, the amounts shown represent the actual FTEs as reported in the Departmental Results Report. The total forecast and planned FTE for fiscal years 2022-23, 2023-24, 2024-2025 and 2025-26 are calculated using the forecasted FTEs for 2022-23 as per the departmental financial system, adjusted for sunset initiatives for future years.

The overall increase of 426 FTEs between the 2021−22 actual and the 2022−23 forecast FTEs is the result of an increase in funding profile and new funding related to:

The overall decrease of 413 FTEs between the 2022−23 forecast and the 2023−24 planned FTEs is the result of decreasing funding profile and sunsetting initiatives with temporary funding related to:

Overall, there is a decreasing trend in planned FTEs over the 2023−24 to 2025-2026 planning horizon. This is the result of sunsetting initiatives with temporary funding. Funding requests for such initiatives are subject to government decisions and will be reflected in future Budget exercises and Estimates documents.

The overall decrease of 133 FTEs between the 2023−24 and 2024−25 planned FTEs is the result of sunsetting initiatives with temporary funding related to the:

The overall decrease of 75 FTEs between the 2024−25 and 2025−26 planned FTEs is the result of sunsetting initiatives with temporary funding related to the:

Estimates by vote

Information on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2023–24 Main Estimates.

Future-oriented Condensed statement of operations

The future-oriented condensed statement of operations provides an overview of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s operations for 2022-23 to 2023-24.

The forecast and planned amounts in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The forecast and planned amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore differ.

A more detailed future-oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s website.

Future-oriented Condensed statement of operations for the year ending March 31, 2024 (dollars)
Financial information 2022–23
forecast results
2023–24
planned results
Difference
(2023–24 planned results minus
2022–23 forecast results)
Total expenses 2,339,573,144 2,603,121,998 263,548,854
Total revenues 119,470,443 105,119,050 -14,351,393
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 2,220,102,701 2,498,002,948 277,900,247

Total expenses are expected to increase by $263.6 million in 2023-24 in comparison with the forecast results of 2022-23. The overall increase is mainly attributable to increased funding profiles for initiatives such as the advanced and enhanced Low Carbon Economy Fund, to conserve Canadaʼs land and freshwater, protect species, advance Indigenous reconciliation and increase access to nature as well as to implement natural climate solutions in Canada. This increase is partially offset by decreased funding profiles for Protecting Canada’s Nature, Parks and Wild Spaces, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) and for the Revitalization of Canada's Weather Services.

Compared to fiscal year 2022-23, total revenues for 2023-24 are expected to decrease by $14.4 million mostly due to a $15M fine in 2022-23 to ArcelorMittal Canada Inc. and 7623704 Canada Inc. for violating the Fisheries Act and Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER).

For comparative purposes, planned results are based on historical data and trends, and include 2023-24 Main Estimates. 2022-23 forecast results give the reader information on 2022-23 estimated spending based on historical data and trends, the 2022-23 Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates (B) and (C) as well as government wide initiatives, central agency salary compensation and carry-forward funding.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P.

Institutional heads: Paul Halucha, Lawrence Hanson

Ministerial portfolio: Environment and Climate Change

Enabling instruments:

Year of incorporation/commencement: 1971

Raison d’être, mandate and role : who we are and what we do

Information on Environment and Climate Change Canada raison d’être, mandate and role is available on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s website.

Information on the department’s mandate letter commitments is available in the Minister’s mandate letters.

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on Environment and Climate Change’s website.

Reporting framework

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s approved Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2023–24 are as follows:

Text description

Departmental Results Framework (In effect as of April 1, 2023)

I. Core Responsibilities / Minister’s Mandate Priorities

Core Responsibilities describe high-level domains in which the Department acts or has authority to operate on behalf of Canadians. They are primarily drawn from the Department’s legislation, core mandate and raison d’être.

  1. Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change
    • Support and coordinate the development and implementation of Canada’s environmental and climate change policies, programs, and plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support a transition to a resilient, inclusive low-carbon economy. This will be achieved by developing and implementing climate mitigation measures; supporting adaptation to climate change; contributing to international environment and climate-related actions and initiatives; and engaging with other federal government departments, Indigenous partners, provinces and territories, domestic and international partners and stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties.
  2. Preventing and Managing Pollution
    • Develop measures to reduce releases of harmful substances into the environment; monitor levels of pollutants and pollution precursors in air, water and soil; promote and enforce compliance with environmental laws and regulations; and implement pollution reduction and restoration actions and programs. This will be achieved by coordinating, collaborating and consulting with other federal government departments, provinces and territories, Indigenous partners, non-governmental organizations, international partners and other stakeholders.
  3. Conserving Nature
    • Protect and recover species at risk and their critical habitat, maintain and restore healthy populations of migratory birds and other wildlife, and manage and expand Canada’s network of protected areas to conserve biodiversity, contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and support human health and well-being. This will be accomplished through evidence-based decision making that considers cumulative effects, promoting and enforcing applicable laws and regulations, engaging meaningfully with Indigenous peoples, and collaborating with provinces and territories, other domestic and international stakeholders and the public.
  4. Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions
    • Provide authoritative forecasts, warnings, data, and information services related to weather, hydrological, and environmental conditions using a wide range of dissemination systems to help Canadians, public authorities, and targeted weather sensitive sectors make informed decisions about health, safety, and economic prosperity. This will be achieved by: monitoring weather, water quantity, ice, air quality and climate conditions; conducting research and development activities targeting continuous improvement; operating advanced integrated weather and environmental prediction models using high performance computing platforms; exchanging data in near real time, on a continual basis, with members of the World Meteorological Organization to ensure accurate and timely predictions; and collaborating closely with other nations’ weather and hydrologic institutions, and international organizations, to improve services for citizens everywhere.

II. Departmental Results and Result Indicators for each Core Responsibility / Minister’s Mandate Priorities

By defining Results/outcomes and indicators, progress against Core Responsibilities will be monitored and updated through public reporting and departmental management.

  1. Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change
    1. Canadian greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutant emissions are reduced
      • Canada’s annual greenhouse gas emissions (Mt CO2 Eq.)
      • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from light duty vehicles
      • GHG emissions from heavy duty vehicles
      • Black carbon emissions
      • Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions
      • Methane emissions from the oil and gas sector
      • Percentage of coal-fired electricity generation units meeting their regulated GHG emissions intensity performance requirement
      • Carbon pollution pricing systems are in place in Canada
      • Percentage change in GHG emissions from ECCC operations
    2. Indigenous peoples are engaged in clean growth and climate change
      • Percentage of national climate change policies or strategies developed by the Department that integrate the knowledge and perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
    3. Canada contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing climate resilience globally
      • Cumulative amount of private finance mobilized through Canada’s public sector investments
      • GHG reductions resulting from international initiatives funded by Canada
      • Cumulative number of people in developing countries who benefitted from Canada’sadaptation finance
    4. Canadian communities, economies and ecosystems are more resilient
      • Number of individuals, businesses, and governments accessing climateservices and using that information to inform decision making
  2. Preventing and Managing Pollution
    1. Canadians have clean air
      • Percentage of the population living in areas where air pollutant concentrations are less than or equal to the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards
    2. Canadians have clean water
      • Percentage of wastewater systems where effluent quality standards are achieved
    3. The Canadian environment is protected from harmful substances
      • Percentage of actions taken in a timely manner to protect Canada’s environment from chemicals found to be a risk to the environment
  3. Conserving Nature
    1. Canada’s wildlife and habitat are conserved and protected
      • Percentage of migratory bird species that are within target population ranges
      • Percentage of Canadian areas conserved as protected areas and other effective areas-based conservation measures
    2. Canada’s species at risk are recovered
      • Percentage of species at risk for which changes in populations are consistent with recovery and management objectives
    3. Indigenous peoples are engaged in conservation
      • Percentage of Indigenous Peoples engaged with ECCC who indicate that the engagement was meaningful
  4. Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions
    1. Canadians use authoritative weather and related information to make decisions about their health and safety
      • Index of the timeliness and accuracy of severe weather warnings on a scale of 0 to 10
      • Percentage of program partners rating their satisfaction with ECCC’s hydrological services as 8 out of 10 or higher

III. Program Inventory

Provides an overview of how the Department’s Programs are organized to achieve the Departmental Results

  1. Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change
    • Clean Growth and Climate Change Mitigation
    • Climate Change Adaptation
    • International Environment and Climate Action
  2. Preventing and Managing Pollution
    • Air Quality
    • Community Eco-Action
    • Compliance Promotion and Enforcement -Pollution
    • Water Quality and Ecosystems Partnerships
    • Substances and Waste Management
  3. Conserving Nature
    • Species at Risk
    • Migratory Birds and Other Wildlife
    • Habitat Conservation and Protection
    • Biodiversity Policy and Partnerships
    • Environmental Assessment
    • Compliance Promotion and Enforcement -Wildlife
  4. Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions
    • Weather and Environmental Observations, Forecasts and Warnings
    • Hydrological Services

IV. Internal Services

  • Materiel Management
  • Real Property
  • Legal Services
  • Communications
  • Human Resources
  • Financial Management
  • Information Technology
  • Information Management
  • Acquisitions
  • Management and Oversight

Supporting information on the program inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s website.

Federal tax expenditures

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures that relate to its planned results for 2023–24.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government—wide tax expenditures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis plus.

Organizational contact information

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Inquiry Centre
Tel. : 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only) or 819-938-3860
Email: enviroinfo@ec.gc.ca

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A document that sets out a department’s priorities, programs, expected results and associated resource requirements, covering a three‑year period beginning with the year indicated in the title of the report. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A change that a department seeks to influence. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a departmental result.
departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that consists of the department’s core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department’s actual performance in a fiscal year against its plans, priorities and expected results set out in its Departmental Plan for that year. Departmental Results Reports are usually tabled in Parliament each fall.
experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform decision-making and improve outcomes for Canadians. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from, innovation. Innovation is the trying of something new; experimentation involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, introducing a new mobile application to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new application and comparing it against an existing website or other tools to see which one reaches more people, is experimentation.
full‑time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person‑year charge against a departmental budget. Full‑time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS Plus])
An analytical tool used to support the development of responsive and inclusive policies, programs and other initiatives; and understand how factors such as sex, race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic conditions, geography, culture and disability, impact experiences and outcomes, and can affect access to and experience of government programs.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2022-23 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities are the high-level themes outlining the Government’s agenda in the 2021 Speech from the Throne: building a healthier today and tomorrow; growing a more resilient economy; bolder climate action; fighter harder for safer communities; standing up for diversity and inclusion; moving faster on the path to reconciliation and fighting for a secure, just, and equitable world.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative in which two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non‑budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within a department and that focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
An inventory of a department’s programs that describes how resources are organized to carry out the department’s core responsibilities and achieve its planned results.
result (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead, they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
Footnote 1

The term climate services refers to the collection of data, information, and tools Canadians need to incorporate climate change into their decisions (About the Canadian Centre for Climate Services).

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Footnote 2

The Landfill Methane Recovery and Destruction protocol is the first protocol under the system to be published. Additional offset protocols are currently in development for activities such as advanced refrigeration, agriculture, forest management and direct air carbon capture and sequestration.

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Footnote 3

Government returning over $2.5 billion in fuel charge proceeds to small- and medium-sized businesses - Canada.ca

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Footnote 4

In 2015, all United Nations (UN) member states came together and adopted Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At its heart are 17 Sustainable Development Goals that encompass key social, economic, and environmental challenges.

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Footnote 5

Date to Achieve Target represents manufacturer's model year reporting, not calendar or government reporting year. The Program plans to update this target post-2022.

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Footnote 6

Beginning with model year 2021, the percentage improvement in GHG emissions performance will transition from being measured relative to the 2010 model year to the 2018 model year.

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Footnote 7

Methane regulations came into force in 2020. First results are expected to be available in the fall of 2022.

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Footnote 8

Note that 2020 was an exceptional year marked by a pandemic and global energy system disruptions; the change in emissions may not be wholly attributable to regulatory compliance activity. The 2020-21 results are the first year where data was available.

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Footnote 9

As of July 2020, of the nine units required to meet the performance standard by January 1, 2020: two have shut down, three have until 2021 to provide a report demonstrating compliance with the regulation, and four are subject to equivalency agreements with specific provinces.

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Footnote 10

As of July 2021, of the six units required to meet the performance standard by January 1, 2021: one has shut down, one has demonstrated compliance with the regulation and four are subject to equivalency agreements with specific provinces.

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Footnote 11

Some of the key initiatives under the $2.65B climate finance were not operational during 2019-20, as they had not yet been initiated. As such, no update was reported on the cumulative results.

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Footnote 12

As of 2023-24, a new variable was integrated into the annual methodology, rendering previous data not comparable.

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Footnote 13

Baseline for the 5-year survey will be established when the Canadian Centre for Climate Services has been operational for 5–6 full years. The baseline for this target will be established in Fiscal Year 2022-23. In other words, results will be ready for reporting on April 1st 2023.

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Footnote 14

Chemical fate describes where a chemical goes when it gets out into the environment and how it might be chemically transformed in the process.

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Footnote 15

The wording of this indicator has changed from “Percentage of Canadians living in areas where air quality standards are achieved”, however the change in wording has not impacted the methodology to calculate the result. Thus, year over year results continue to be comparable.

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Footnote 16

A distinctions-based approach is one whereby the unique rights, interests and circumstances of the First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit are acknowledged, affirmed, and implemented (Principles respecting the Government of Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples).

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Footnote 17

Results for 2020-21 and 2021-22 will be available in December of 2023.

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Footnote 18

Establishing protected areas takes time, and requires negotiation with many partners. Work is ongoing towards achieving the Canadian target of 25 per cent by 2025.

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Footnote 19

In general, successful recovery of species should improve or stabilize the likelihood of the species' persistence in the wild. Recovery takes time; once recovery efforts are in place, it may take many years for changes in populations to be observable and measurable.

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