Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change second annual report: section 1

Executive summary

On December 9, 2016, Canada’s First Ministers adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF).Footnote 1  The PCF is built on four pillars: pricing carbon pollution, complementary actions to reduce emissions across the economy, adaptation and climate resilience, and clean technology, innovation, and jobs. The PCF includes more than fifty concrete actions that cover all sectors of the Canadian economy, and positions Canada to meet its Paris Agreement greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Implementing PCF actions will not only spur GHG emissions reductions and increase resilience to climate change impacts across the country, but will provide additional benefits for Canadians.

Households will have opportunities for cost-savings, such as through energy efficiency upgrades that lower utility bills, and communities will benefit from infrastructure that is resilient to a changing climate. Canadians’ health will be improved through reduced air pollution from the phase-out of coal fired electricity, and through reduced risk of illnesses associated with extreme heat and infectious diseases. New job opportunities, such as those in clean technology innovation, will emerge as Canada’s participation in the global clean economy grows.

This second annual Synthesis Report summarizes the significant progress achieved in 2018 by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and with engagement from stakeholders, in implementing the PCF.

Summary of progress

In 2018, the second year of PCF implementation, work continued to implement over fifty actions introduced in the PCF. This included work on carbon pollution pricing; the introduction of key regulations; the implementation of funding programs and initiatives to improve energy efficiency; significant investments in green infrastructure projects, and support for the development of clean technology; as well as the release of climate action plans, strategies, and funding programs to support adaptation and climate resilience. Continued collaboration between federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) governments as well as partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and engagement with stakeholders remained a cornerstone of PCF implementation.

In 2018 the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act was adopted and it was followed by the subsequent announcement of how the federal carbon pollution pricing system will apply. On October 23, 2018, the Government of Canada announced where the federal system will apply, providing information on the provincial and territorial carbon pollution pricing systems that are already implemented or are on track to be implemented that meet the federal benchmark.

Governments continued to make significant progress in implementing a suite of complementary actions to reduce GHG emissions. Key developments in 2018 included work by the Government of Canada as well as by some jurisdictions on regulations governing coal-fired and natural gas-fired electricity generation, methane regulations for the oil and gas sector, and regulations governing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These regulations will work to lower GHG emissions and will also help to create the policy certainty required to encourage new investments by industry.

Also in 2018, governments continued the construction of major infrastructure projects including renewable energy projects, electricity interties between provinces, zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) charging networks, and public transit networks. All provinces and territories have finalized their Integrated Bilateral Agreements (IBAs) for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, which allocates $9.2 billion for green infrastructure projects, as well as $20.1 billion in funding for public transportation. The Low Carbon Economy Fund has approved funding worth $1.1 billion for provincial and territorial projects in some jurisdictions, nineteen of which target energy efficiency retrofits in the residential and commercial buildings sector. Many jurisdictions continued to play a leadership role through the adoption of ambitious targets to reduce GHG emissions from government operations, including procuring and adopting clean technologies, committing to greening fleets, and improving energy efficiency of public buildings. The Generation Energy Council presented a report to inform the Government of Canada of its findings regarding the future of energy in Canada.

In 2018, governments continued to make progress on a range of adaptation initiatives designed to build resilience to the impacts of the changing climate. Efforts to better protect against extreme weather events and natural disasters included the $2 billion cost-shared Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, which announced its first project involving construction of Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels in spring 2018. As committed to in the PCF, governments continued to support the generation of climate science, information and knowledge, with many jurisdictions adopting approaches to respectfully include Indigenous Knowledge and to support the development of tools, guidance, and resources to guide decision-making. Efforts to disseminate climate information remained a high priority in order to support Canadians in better understanding and planning for the impacts of climate change across Canada, as did building the capacity and expertise of organizations that use this information to make decisions on how best to adapt. In the fall of 2018, the Government of Canada launched the Canadian Centre for Climate Services to ensure Canadians have the information they need to plan for climate impacts.

Governments continued work to protect Canadians from threats to human health and well-being caused by climate change impacts, including extreme heat and the spread of infectious diseases, such as tick-borne Lyme disease. Northern and coastal regions and communities, and Indigenous Peoples continued to be prioritized in adaptation initiatives, as they are disproportionately affected by climate change. These actions taken across the country help individuals, communities, levels of government, and economic sectors endure and thrive in a changing climate.

Governments also continued work to make Canada a leader in the global clean economy through a variety of actions focused on clean technology, innovation, and jobs. For example, provinces and territories established new partnerships with Sustainable Development Technology Canada. Governments also continued to collaborate to streamline clean technology companies’ access to programs and services to ensure companies can take advantage of the full suite of available programming. In support of this aim, the Government of Canada launched the Clean Growth Hub, a single point of contact for clean technology users and producers to take advantage of knowledge, expertise, and relationships across the government. To support knowledge on the penetration of clean technology in the Canadian economy, new data measuring the economic contribution of clean technology was published, supported by the Clean Technology Data Strategy.

Following the joint commitments made by the Prime Minister and National Leaders of the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council, the Government of Canada collaborated with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation to establish three distinctions-based senior bilateral tables based on recognition of rights, co-operation, and partnership. Throughout 2018, these tables have built a structured, collaborative approach for ongoing engagement with Indigenous Peoples in the implementation of the PCF and on broader Indigenous-specific clean growth and climate change priorities.

Monitoring the results and outcomes of PCF actions remains a priority. In support of this priority, the Climate Change Committee under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) developed indicators to track progress under the ‘complementary actions to reduce emissions’ pillar of the PCF. This report lists these indicators but does not include data as the last year available was 2016, prior to PCF adoption. In future Synthesis Reports, indicators will be presented along with corresponding data to track the progress of PCF actions.

Looking ahead

The second year of PCF implementation saw a shift from design and planning toward delivery. Looking ahead, work will continue on delivery as governments finalize regulations, programs are up and running, and funding is allocated. In 2019, this will include work to: implement the federal carbon pollution pricing system in provinces and territories where it applies including returning direct proceeds to the jurisdiction of origin; publish the first phase of the Clean Fuel Standard; announce funding decisions for the $450 million Champions Stream of the Low Carbon Economy Fund Challenge; continue construction of renewable energy projects; host the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM)/Mission Innovation (MI) Ministerial; and undertake scientific activities to address knowledge gaps. In addition, support for climate change adaptation will continue by implementing programs, information and capacity-building initiatives, leveraging research outcomes, and supporting the implementation of clean technology initiatives across the country.

In future years, reporting will focus on measuring concrete results and outcomes, including through indicators developed by the CCME. In addition, work will continue to develop clean technology indicators, using data identified and tracked through the Clean Technology Data Strategy.

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