Fourth Annual Synthesis Report on the status of the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

Executive summary

Canada’s First Ministers adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF) on December 9, 2016.Footnote 1 The PCF is the federal, provincial, and territorial plan to grow the economy, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and build resilience in the face of a changing climate. It builds on existing leadership and actions taken individually and collectively by the provinces and territories, including commitments from the Declaration of the Premiers adopted at the Québec Summit on Climate Change in 2015 and from the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change at the First Ministers Meeting in March 2016. The PCF is built on four pillars: 1) pricing carbon pollution, 2) complementary actions to reduce emissions, 3) adaptation and climate resilience, and 4) clean technology, innovation, and jobs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives and economies worldwide. At the same time, impacts of climate change contributed to devastating heat waves, ice loss, wildfires, floods and droughts, affecting communities, nations and economies around the world.Footnote 2 An approach to pandemic response that supports economic recovery while helping to achieve our climate objectives is crucial for a stronger, more resilient Canada. Many governments around the world, including all provincial, territorial and federal governments in Canada, are taking action to “build back better”Footnote 3 – stimulating their economies through measures that enhance sustainability and resilience.

According to the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices’ Tip of the Iceberg report released in 2020, the number of catastrophic weather events in Canada between 2010 and 2019 was more than three times higher than in the 1980s.Footnote 4 Meanwhile, the combined economic losses per weather-related disaster have also ballooned—rising from an average of $8.3 million per event in the 1970s to an average of $112 million per event between 2010 and 2019. Canada’s Climate Science 2050 synthesis report, also published in 2020, identified the critical role of science and knowledge in guiding the swift and ambitious action needed to build a resilient, carbon-neutral Canada.Footnote 5

In addition to reducing GHG emissions and improving Canada’s resilience to climate change, climate action by federal, provincial and territorial governments is producing many economic, social and health benefits for Canadians. New economic opportunities are emerging for Canadian clean technology and participation in the global market for low-carbon goods and services. Energy efficiency retrofits are helping Canadians make their homes and buildings energy-wise, more comfortable and more affordable. Public transit expansion is improving the livability of cities across the country. Actions such as phasing-out of traditional coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 will improve air quality, leading to better health outcomes for Canadians.

The fourth Annual Synthesis Report summarizes progress achieved in 2020 by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and through engagement with stakeholders, in collectively implementing the PCF.

Summary of progress

In 2020, the fourth year of PCF implementation, federal, provincial, and territorial governments continued to implement the more than fifty actions outlined in the PCF as well as develop new initiatives.

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments continued making progress on pricing carbon pollution. This included greenlighting new pricing systems in New Brunswick and Ontario, and continuing or updating existing systems in other jurisdictions. Both an interim report of carbon pricing systems and an expert assessment were initiated for completion in 2021. Carbon pollution pricing systems continue to operate in all jurisdictions across Canada.

Governments also continued to make progress on implementing a host of complementary actions to reduce GHG emissions. In 2020, important progress was made in the industrial sector, as new federal and provincial methane regulations came into force.

In 2020, governments continued to: support the further expansion of renewable energy capacity; expand the production and consumption of low-carbon fuels; build up climate-resilient infrastructure; expand energy efficiency in new and existing residential, commercial, and industrial buildings; support further uptake of zero or low-emitting transportation; and further utilize mitigation opportunities including carbon sequestration within the forestry, agriculture, and waste sectors. For example, the federal Northern Responsible Energy Approach for the Community Heat and Electricity (Northern REACHE) and Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) programs are both targeted at reducing the reliance of northern, rural and remote communities on diesel fuel for heat and power. Governments proceeded with further actions to increase zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) uptake, through both expansion of existing purchase incentives and charging infrastructure as well as federal and provincial actions on hydrogen fuel and expanded investment in public transit. The release of the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada is also contributing to expanding the use of clean fuels and to position Canada as a global industrial leader of clean renewable fuels. Government leadership on climate change was strong in 2020, with several governments setting new, more ambitious emissions reduction targets and updating their climate plans.

Governments continued to make progress on a number of adaptation initiatives to build climate resilience, manage risks to health and infrastructure, and help ensure that all Canadian communities are able to thrive in a changing climate. Progress included the development of Yukon adaptation actions in Our Clean Future: A Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy and renewed commitments and actions on adaptation in Québec, through the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy (2030 PGE). The federal commitment to develop Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy will complement provinces and territories' actions. Also, the federal government released the Climate Science 2050: Advancing Science and Knowledge on Climate Change report and multiple regional climate organizations were either planned or established, which were all crucial 2020 outcomes to support the PCF commitment to translate scientific information into action.

As Earth continues to warm, high-latitude countries like Canada are more likely to experience strong impacts, including an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Canadians will confront more natural hazards, such as storms, forest fires, heat waves, floods and droughts, which will test their resilience and challenge their ability to adapt to the new climatic conditions.Footnote 6 These impacts are likely to push the limits of Canada’s existing infrastructure, and governments will need to continue to work together to address this increasing concern. In 2020, the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) announced funding for eight large-scale infrastructure projects, and the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) invested $76 million into eight projects that focused on increasing capacity to adapt to climate change impacts, natural disasters, and extreme weather events.

Governments continued or launched provincial or regional climate-wide risk assessments to evaluate climate change-related health impacts, and worked to support healthy First Nations and Inuit communities through involving these communities in governance decisions and monitoring programs, as well as through initiatives like the federal Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program (CCHAP). Some regions, specifically on the coasts and in remote, northern and Indigenous communities, are more vulnerable and thus disproportionally affected by climate change. To support these regions and communities, governments continued utilizing programs like the Climate Change Preparedness in the North (CCPN) Program, First Nation Adapt, and the Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program, funding 133, 68, and 63 projects respectively.

Governments also continued to invest in clean technology and innovation, with the global clean technology market set to exceed $2.5 trillion by 2022 and clean technology companies employing more than 195,000 Canadians in 2020.Footnote 7 Collaborative actions, such as British Columbia and Canada jointly funding the BC Cleantech Cluster Initiative to bring together stakeholder groups to help advance the province’s clean technology industry, came alongside individual efforts, like Nova Scotia partnering with Innovacorp, its early-stage venture capital organization, to support clean tech companies. Governments also began using the data produced through the Clean Technology Data Strategy to better inform decision-making, improve knowledge and foster innovation. In Alberta, the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Fund is invested in innovation, research and technology projects to reduce emissions while supporting jobs, including programs delivered by the province, Emissions Reduction Alberta, Alberta Innovates, and others.

The Government of Canada continued meaningful and collaborative engagement with Indigenous Peoples through the three distinctions-basedFootnote 8 senior bilateral tables, in accordance with the joint commitments made by the Prime Minister, National Leaders of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and the Métis National Council (MNC) in 2016. Canada and the Assembly of First Nations identified five areas for collaboration, better orienting the work of the First Nations-Canada Joint Committee on Climate Action (JCCA), which met throughout 2020. The Métis Nation-Canada Joint Table on Clean Growth and Climate Change continued relationship-building and information-sharing to identify Métis Nation-specific considerations for program design and funding delivery under the PCF. The Inuit-Canada Joint Table on Clean Growth and Climate Change also met, and Canada provided funding to implement the National Inuit Climate Change Strategy (NICCS). The federal government continues to work to better support Indigenous Peoples as leaders to advance their self-determined priorities and plans on clean growth and climate change.

Québec conducted specific consultations with Indigenous communities in late 2019 and February 2020 as part of the development of the 2030 PGE. These consultations were published in 2020Footnote 9 and helped guide the investments in Québec’s 2021–2026 Implementation Plan to support Indigenous community leadership in the climate transition. In 2020, British Columbia continued to work closely with Indigenous peoples to build stronger partnerships and act on shared goals. For example, B.C. worked together with communities to support clean energy infrastructure in remote communities and develop a provincial climate preparedness and adaptation strategy.

Looking ahead

Moving forward, governments will continue their efforts to make progress on the actions committed to under the PCF as well as generate new policies and programs to fight climate change, improve resilience, and further promote clean growth. These efforts include developing and finalizing new regulations, programs and policies at the federal and provincial-territorial levels, increasing investment in new climate-resilient infrastructure, and developing new and ongoing initiatives, all of which will promote a greener economy and reduce emissions from key sectors such as industry, infrastructure, transportation, buildings, agriculture, and forestry.

In December 2020, the Government of Canada released A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy as the federal government’s strengthened climate plan (SCP) with $15 billion in new investments to allow Canada to meet and exceed the national GHG reduction target, or the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), for 2030. Canada’s NDC in 2020 was an “economy-wide target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.” This is equivalent to reducing 2030 emissions to 511 megatonnes (Mt) from 739 Mt in 2005. Full implementation of the PCF, and all provincial and territorial mitigation measures that had been announced by 2020, are projected to reduce Canada’s emissions by 142 Mt in 2030 compared to 2005 levels (19 per cent below 2005 levels). Canada’s SCP is projected to reduce Canada’s emissions in 2030 by an additional 85 Mt, bringing Canada’s 2030 emissions to 512 Mt (31 per cent below 2005 levels).Footnote 10

Across the provinces and territories, work anticipated in 2021 and beyond includes: the implementation of Alberta’s Bill 36, the Geothermal Resource Development Act; the coming-online of Manitoba’s Keeyask generating station, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Muskrat Falls generating station, and Nunavut’s new district heating systems in Taloyoak and Sanikiluaq; Manitoba’s amended Biofuels Act regulations, further increasing the use of renewable fuels; Prince Edward Island switching more facilities to biomass heating; Northwest Territories completing a multi-year project at Moose Kerr School in Aklavik resulting in the installation of a 300kW biomass boiler; a number of research projects being completed in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba through the Prairie Regional Adaptation Collaborative (PRAC); the development of a First Nations and Metis public safety strategy through the new Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA); and the completed grid connection of Alberta’s Fort Chipewyan solar farm. The Government of Québec will be launching actions from its 2030 PGE first implementation plan for 2021–2026, ensuring interventions in all priority areas that are mitigating climate change, building the economy of tomorrow, reinforcing resilience to the impacts of climate change, creating a predictable environment favorable to climate transition and develop and disseminate the necessary knowledge to guide transition.

1.0 Introduction

In 2020, the average global temperature rose to 1.2˚ Celsius above pre-industrial levels.Footnote 11 In Canada, on average, temperature increases are approximately two times the magnitude of the global average and more than double in northern Canada.Footnote 12 The effects of rising temperatures include more extreme heat, less extreme cold, longer growing seasons, shorter snow and ice cover seasons, thinning glaciers, thawing permafrost, and rising sea levels. We have seen the consequences of global warming with increased drought, wildfires, and flooding. In Canada, the environmental, health, and economic impacts of climate change have been staggering and are projected to intensify. Rising temperatures and catastrophic weather events have had tangible costs. According to the Canadian Institute of Climate Choices, weather-related disasters are hitting more often and costing more to address each year. Catastrophic weather events in the past decade have cost over $18 billion, in insured losses alone.Footnote 13

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments committed to take action on climate change through the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF), in 2016.Footnote 14 Over the past four years, federal, provincial, and territorial governments have worked together, as well as with Indigenous Peoples, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, build resilience to the changing climate, and enable sustainable economic growth. Actions under the PCF also present numerous opportunities, such as cost savings from energy efficiency, increased air quality from decarbonisation, more resilient and green infrastructure, and improving health outcomes. Many governments are leveraging opportunities to build back from the COVID-19 pandemic in ways that create a healthier planet and greener economy. For example, governments are investing in public transportation, clean technology, and committing to sustainably manage forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands.

This fourth annual Synthesis Report reports on progress made in 2020 by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, to implement more than fifty measures in the PCF to reduce GHG emissions, adapt and build resilience to a changing climate, and facilitate clean economic growth.

2.0 Pricing carbon pollution

The PCF identified carbon pollution pricing as an important and crosscutting mitigation measure. Several provinces have taken substantial leadership on carbon pollution pricing. British Columbia and Québec each have had a broad carbon pollution pricing system in place for over a decade. Alberta has priced industrial GHG emissions, which represent over half their economy’s emissions, since 2007.

In October 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the Pan-Canadian Approach to Pricing Carbon Pollution that introduced the federal benchmark establishing minimum national standards of stringency for GHG emissions pricing. This approach gives provinces and territories the flexibility to design their own carbon pollution pricing policies, while outlining criteria to ensure they are all stringent, fair, and efficient.

Federal carbon pollution pricing system

Pursuant to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, adopted on June 21, 2018, the federal carbon pollution pricing system has two components: a regulatory charge on fuel (fuel charge) and a trading system for industry, also known as the Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS).Footnote 15

The federal carbon pollution pricing system applies in any jurisdiction that requested it or that does not implement its own system that meets the federal benchmark. The federal benchmark requires a price on carbon pollution of $20 per tonne of GHG emissions in 2019, rising by $10 each year to $50 per tonne in 2022. The Government of Canada carries out an annual assessment process to ensure that provincial carbon pollution pricing systems meet the federal benchmark, and to monitor major changes by provincial and territorial governments.

The federal fuel charge applies in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut. The federal fuel charge applied in New Brunswick in 2019, but ceased to apply as of April 1, 2020. The federal OBPS applies in Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Yukon, Nunavut, and partially in Saskatchewan. On September 20, 2020, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada informed Ontario and New Brunswick that their carbon pollution pricing systems for industrial facilities meet the federal benchmark for the sources they cover. As a result, the Government of Canada intends to stand down the federal OBPS in both provinces as of dates to be determined in consultation with each of the two provincial governments.Footnote 16 All provinces and territories implementing their own carbon pricing system have a price on carbon pollution that met the federal benchmark for 2020.

All direct proceeds from the federal fuel charge in Yukon and Nunavut are being returned to the governments of these territories, as they voluntarily adopted the federal system. In Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta – provinces that did not voluntarily adopt the federal system – all direct proceeds from the federal fuel charge are being returned to the jurisdiction of origin through Climate Action Incentive payments made directly to individuals, and through federal programing. Proceeds collected from the federal OBPS will be used to further support industrial projects to cut emissions and use new cleaner technologies and processes. The jurisdictions that have voluntarily adopted the federal OBPS system (i.e., Prince Edward Island, Yukon and Nunavut) will be given the option to directly receive proceeds collected and decide on how to use them.

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments worked together in 2020 to establish an approach to review carbon pollution pricing systems across Canada. As per the commitment in the PCF, an interim report was initiated in August 2020 to provide an updated, factual overview of all carbon pricing systems currently in place across Canada. A separate, independent expert assessment was launched in November 2020.Footnote 17

Other federal, provincial, and territorial carbon pollution pricing-related initiatives

Jurisdictions continued to refine their carbon pollution pricing systems in 2020. British Columbia released world-leading industry emissions benchmarks under the CleanBC Industrial Incentive program, encouraging cleaner industrial operations and reducing carbon tax costs incurred over $30 per tonne CO2e for low emission facilities. In June 2020, the program’s CleanBC Industry Fund closed its second call for innovative projects to reduce emissions. The 2020 CleanBC Industry Fund is investing approximately $33 million in carbon tax revenue in 22 emission-reduction projects, with industry and partners contributing an additional $51 million. Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade program covers about 87 per cent of the province’s GHG emissions. Launched in January 2019, the program had its first two auctions in 2020, which generated over $28 million in revenue. Ontario has developed an Emissions Performance Standards program to regulate GHG emissions from large emitters. The federal government has indicated that this program meets the federal benchmark. In Québec, the revenues from its carbon market are transferred to the Fonds d’électrification et de changements climatiques, which replaced the Fonds vert in 2020, and are used exclusively to fund climate actions. It is thus a large contributor to the new Québec climate plan, the 2030 PGE, that was launched in November 2020.

Alberta's Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Regulation came into force in January 2020, as the next enhancement to Alberta's industrial carbon pricing regime which started in 2007. TIER aims to provide greater competitiveness protection to emissions-intensive and trade-exposed sectors by introducing facility-specific benchmarks. The TIER system design drives emission reductions in industry as well as across all sectors as it includes emissions trading and investment in clean technology.

3.0 Complementary actions to reduce emissions

To mitigate emissions from fossil fuels, complement carbon pollution pricing, and transition Canada to a low-carbon economy, targeted mitigation action across sectors is critical.

These efforts to reduce GHG emissions can help to create new markets for low-carbon goods and services; reduce costs for Canadians that make life more affordable; and provide businesses with the incentives and opportunity to develop and use cleaner and more efficient technologies. In 2020, governments continued to implement a number of regulatory and programmatic measures, with a specific focus on green economic recovery efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


In the PCF, governments committed to work collaboratively to invest in the use of clean electricity, increase generation from non-emitting and renewable sources, modernize existing electricity systems, and reduce diesel reliance in northern, remote, and Indigenous communities.

Canada already has one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world, with almost 82 per cent of electricity coming from non-emitting sources.Footnote 18 Governments continued to advance efforts to further increase renewable and non-emitting sources in 2020, with the aim of having 90 per cent of electricity generated from non-emitting sources by 2030.Footnote 19

In December 2020, Canada launched its Hydrogen Strategy and committed to work with all levels of governments, Indigenous organizations and other stakeholders to identify the economic and environmental opportunities for clean production and use of hydrogen across all sectors of the Canadian economy.

The Hydrogen Strategy for Canada was released in 2020, which identified opportunities to integrate hydrogen into renewable energy systems in Canada, and continued to support renewable energy projects through the Emerging Renewable Power Program and the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. In its new 2030 PGE, Québec committed to develop a strategy on green hydrogen and bioenergy, as well as a $15 million investment in the green hydrogen sector. Despite accounting for less than 7 per cent of total electricity generation, coal was responsible for 63 per cent of electricity-related GHG emissions in 2018.Footnote 20 Canada and Nova Scotia’s renewal of their equivalency agreement on traditional coal-fired electricity, reached in 2019 and which came into force in 2020, gives Nova Scotia the flexibility to meet or exceed the GHG reductions that would have resulted from the federal coal regulation at the lowest cost to ratepayers.

Saskatchewan made progress on a number of wind and solar projects in 2020, including the 200 megawatt Golden South Wind Project. Saskatchewan’s government-owned utility, SaskPower, signed Power Purchase Agreements for two 10-megawatt solar power generation projects through the First Nations Power Authority. Saskatchewan also committed to exploring the development and deployment of small modular nuclear reactors to help meet the challenges of climate change.

Governments continued to invest in and support renewable energy sources with the aim of increasing their usage. The proportion of Canada’s total primary energy supply (TPES) from renewable sources accounted for 16.4 per cent of TPES in 2018.Footnote 21 Development of hydroelectric projects such as the Site C Clean Energy and Peace Region Energy Electricity Supply Projects in British Columbia and the Muskrat Falls Generating Project in Newfoundland and Labrador are ongoing and will add an additional 3259 megawatts of capacity.Footnote 22 Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec began planning for the increased development of hydrogen in their respective provinces. Saskatchewan, Québec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia all amended or exceeded their renewable energy and electricity standards.

Nova Scotia and Canada are administering $14 million in investments to the Mi’kmaw Home Energy Efficiency Project to upgrade 80 per cent of the 2,400 band-owned homes on reserves over ten years, targeting 900 homes in the first four years. Upgrades can include new insulation, heat pumps, and draft-proofing.

Governments also continued to use interties as a way to facilitate the transmission of clean energy and electricity between jurisdictions. Manitoba and Saskatchewan finalized a contract for more baseload renewable energy to begin flowing between their respective provinces in 2022. New Brunswick and Québec signed three agreements to facilitate the transmission of energy between the two provinces, and work was done to modernize electricity systems through grid upgrades, R&D on smart grid technologies, and microgrid uptake.

Remote communities not connected to the North American electricity grid rely on costly and GHG-emitting diesel-generated electricity. Investing in clean energy solutions to reduce reliance on diesel is an important link to energy security, reconciliation and self-determination for Indigenous peoples. Governments continued to invest in the off-diesel transition, through investing in clean energy in remote and northern communities and improving energy security. In the Northwest Territories and Yukon, investing in clean energy was done through programs like Northern REACHE, the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program, Impact Canada’s Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative, and the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan. This federal programming also allowed Nunavut to develop Community Energy Plans, and the Wataynikaneyap Power project to connect 16 remote First Nations to Ontario’s low-carbon grid while British Columbia has invested in a similar manner though their CleanBC Remote Community Energy Strategy.

Nunavut is developing community energy plans with four Nunavut communities to assess community energy needs and prioritize future clean energy projects. Funding has been extended due to delays of doing community driven work brought on by COVID-19, however, plans for Coral Harbour and Naujaat are expected to be completed within the next two years.

Built environment

The transition toward powering and heating buildings with renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency continued in 2020. Reducing energy demand by increasing new and existing buildings’ energy efficiency has proven to be effective to accelerate this transition. Governments remain committed to improve their construction codes to make new and existing buildings more energy efficient. Some jurisdictions are also delivering new construction and retrofit incentive programs. Measures under the PCF also target energy efficiency improvements for appliances and equipment, as well as in Indigenous communities.

Under the first intake of the CleanBC Communities Fund, Canada and British Columbia approved nearly $55 million in funding for 16 projects, committed $8 million to projects awaiting final approval, and launched a second call for project applications. The projects support energy-efficiency building upgrades, clean energy, and clean transportation initiatives.

In 2020, Canada launched a process to publish a more stringent model energy code (National Building Code and National Energy Code for Buildings 2020) for new houses and buildings and announced $2 billion through the Canada Infrastructure Bank Growth Plan to improve the energy efficiency of existing commercial and large scale buildings. In July 2020, Ontario updated its energy efficiency regulation to harmonize efficiency requirements for nine fuel-burning products with federal requirements, and to increase efficiency requirements for residential windows. British Columbia launched the CleanBC Better Homes New Construction program in December 2020 to improve the energy efficiency of new construction projects. Québec updated its Construction Code for large buildings in 2020, and announced $453 million for energy efficiency and energy transition for existing buildings. In New Brunswick, the Total Home Energy Savings program continued offering incentives to support home energy efficiency improvements – supporting nearly 3000 upgrades in 2020. Nova Scotia and Canada continued administering $14 million in investments to the Mi’kmaw Home Energy Efficiency Project, which will see all band-owned homes on reserves qualify for upgrades like new insulation, heat pumps, and draft-proofing.

Prince Edward Island expanded its suite of energy efficiency programs, in partnership with Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund, including installing heat pumps to reduce emissions, fuel switching home heating systems from light fuel oil to biomass heating, and improving efficiency in non-residential buildings through the Community Energy Solutions Program.


In 2018, GHG emissions stemming from the transportation sector accounted for 30 per cent of Canada’s total CO2 equivalent emissions.Footnote 23 Governments remain committed to create a clean and efficient transport network across Canada. In 2020, jurisdictions continued to make efforts to reduce GHG emissions, through more stringent regulations on vehicles and encouraging a transition toward zero-emission vehicles, low carbon fuels, and lower emitting transportation modes.

Newfoundland Power filed an application with the Public Utilities Board to spend $20 million between 2021-2025 on electric vehicle charging infrastructure (including 29 fast charging stations) and purchase incentives. Renewable electricity demand is projected at 22 GWh by 2025.

Canada’s A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy climate plan commits Canada to align its vehicle emissions standards with the most stringent standards at the U.S. federal or state level for the post-2025 time period.

Nova Scotia has invested in Halifax Regional Centre All Ages and Abilities Bikeway Network Project in partnership with Halifax and the Government of Canada. The project will complete a 30 km network of bicycle routes, focused on Halifax’s downtown core, to provide residents safer and more flexible transportation options.

In October 2020, the Canada Infrastructure Bank announced $1.5 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure. Québec announced $626.5 million for zero-emission buses and $174 million for charging infrastructure as part its 2030 PGE. In December 2020, Canada announced the implementation of the Off-Road Compression-Ignition (Mobile and Stationary) and Large Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations for new equipment such as forklifts and stationary diesel generators that are often used to power remote communities. Also, on December 19, 2020, the proposed Clean Fuel Regulation was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, which would require a carbon intensity reduction of liquid fuels produced and imported into Canada. Québec’s draft regulation on the minimum volume of renewable fuel in gasoline and diesel fuel underwent amendments in 2020. The regulation is intended to set standards for the blending of renewable fuel into gasoline and diesel fuel. In 2019, Emissions Reduction Alberta launched the Biotechnology, Electricity, and Sustainable Transportation (BEST) Challenge and committed approximately $26 million to novel sustainable transportation projects valued at over $72 million.

The goal of Quebec’s 2030 Plan for a Green Economy is the electrification of the transportation sector, with emphasis on public transit, light and heavy vehicles, specialized trucks and the deployment of charging infrastructure. To achieve these ambitious transportation objectives, the government has announced investments of $3.6 billion in the transportation sector, including electrification.

In July 2020, British Columbia passed the Zero-Emission Vehicle Regulation bringing into force requirements on automakers to meet zero-emission vehicles sales targets starting in 2020, reaching 10 per cent of light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2040. In 2020, Québec prepared a report on the implementation of the ZEV standard, and work is underway to strengthen this standard over the coming years. Québec has announced that the targets for the sale of ZEV motor vehicles will be 30% in 2030 and 100% in 2035. Also, Québec announced the extension of the Electric School Bus Deployment Support Program from June 30, 2020 to March 31, 2021. In October 2020, Ontario announced that it is matching a $295 million investment with the federal government to retool Ford Motors Oakville Assembly Complex into a global hub for battery electric vehicle production. In 2020, Prince Edward Island’s Active Transportation Fund supported 22 different projects that helped to better connect existing walking and cycling trails.

As part of StrongerBC, British Columbia’s CleanBC Go Electric Specialty Use Vehicle Incentive (SUVI Program) provided $31 million to support the adoption of specialty-use zero-emission vehicles that are not included in the province’s rebate program, including motorcycles, low-speed vehicles, electric cargo bicycles and utility vehicles.


Canada’s industrial sector, encompassing several sectors including manufacturing, oil and gas, and mining, is a major economic contributor. However, it is also a substantial source of GHG emissions in Canada, with the oil and gas and heavy industry sectors making up approximately 37 per cent of Canada’s emissions in 2018.Footnote 24 In the PCF, governments committed to improving industrial energy efficiency, investing in research and development for technologies that reduce emissions, reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The CleanBC Industry Fund invests in GHG-reducing projects and increases opportunities for innovative clean technologies. The 2020 CleanBC Industry Fund is investing approximately $33 million in carbon tax revenue in 22 emission-reduction projects, with industry and partners contributing an additional $51 million.

Governments implemented and updated key regulations related to methane and HFC emissions. Methane is a potent GHG with a global warming potential of about 25 times that of carbon dioxide. The first set of requirements under the national methane regulations for the oil and gas sector came into force on January 1, 2020. Equivalency agreements were reached with the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in 2020. These regulations aim to meet 2025 emissions reductions targets of 45 per cent below 2012 and 2014 levels, respectively. The Government of Canada launched the $750 million Emissions Reductions Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which will help onshore and offshore oil and gas companies and Canadian innovators by providing funds to invest in green solutions to reduce GHGs (mainly methane), and retain jobs in the sector.

Alberta’s Methane Emission Reduction Regulation came into effect in January 2020 and introduced key updates to methane regulation directives, alongside announcements of investments of $25 million to support industry install methane-related emissions reduction equipment and $27 million to conduct detailed assessments of methane reduction opportunities and fugitive emissions.

Efforts to improve industrial energy efficiency continued in 2020. Canada furthered its support for industrial decarbonization through the announcement of the Net-Zero Challenge for large emitters and the provision of $3 billion to the Strategic Innovation Fund's new Net-Zero Accelerator to expedite decarbonization projects with large emitters, scale up clean technology and accelerate Canada's industrial transformation across all sectors. Provinces also continued to focus on initiatives to reduce industrial emissions. Alberta announced $55 million through the Energy Savings for Business program to help small- and medium-sized facilities benefit from emissions-reducing industrial and commercial projects. Québec announced $670 million to support energy efficiency and conversion, as well as process optimization in businesses, which includes $90 million for a GHG challenge for large industrial emitters. Other examples include British Columbia's Technology and Innovation Policy Framework and CleanBC Program for Industry, Newfoundland and Labrador's Management of Greenhouse Gas Act, and the Buildings and Industry component of the Northwest Territories' Greenhouse Grant Program. Canada, British Columbia, and New Brunswick continued to fund programs related to energy management systems.

Approximately half of GHG emissions in Newfoundland and Labrador stem from large industry. These emissions were subject to a reduction target of 8 per cent below historical baselines in 2020, equivalent to 317,000 tonnes. Reported GHG reductions totaled 973,000 tonnes. The reduction target increases to 10 per cent below baseline in 2021.

In 2020, governments continued to invest in new technologies to advance innovation in emissions reductions across Canada's industrial sector. In addition to leading research projects to promote the adoption of clean technologies across several modes of transportation, Canada announced an investment of $1.5 billion in a Clean Fuels FundFootnote 25 to increase the production and use of low-carbon fuels. Three programs for the reclamation of oil and gas sites were established by British Columbia, which are receiving up to $120 million in total federal funding. Canada announced it would develop a comprehensive carbon capture, use and storage strategy. Alberta also announced a $100 million investment in the Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Grant Program as a part of the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Fund. The Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program was also launched in 2020 as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan; the 10-year program provides grants to support investment in new or expanded facilities including clean hydrogen, carbon capture and other operations.

Forestry, agriculture, and waste

There is continued interest in maximizing the potential to both enhance carbon sinks and reduce GHG emissions from land and waste management. While agriculture and waste together made up approximately 16 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions in 2018, forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands can also play an important role by storing and absorbing atmospheric carbon.Footnote 26 Acknowledging these opportunities, governments continued to take a variety of actions to decrease GHG emissions and enhance sequestration from the forest, agriculture, and waste sectors.

Governments invested in research projects and programs related to land-based climate mitigation, such as forest growth and reforestation, soil sequestration, and sustainable agricultural practices. Canada allocated $3.9 billion to the new Natural Climate Solutions Fund, which aims to increase carbon sequestration with various co-benefits by expanding Canada’s natural assets, including planting 2 billion trees over the next decade. This includes an additional $98.4 million investment to establish an Agricultural Climate Solutions program. Furthermore, collaboration with provinces and territories has been key to advancing innovation projects. To highlight a few examples, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Québec all continued funding and implementing programs and projects in areas including carbon sinks and sequestration, reforestation and forest growth, addressing mountain pine beetle infestations, protecting caribou populations and habitats, and silviculture. Alberta established its carbon offset proposal for Biogas Production and Combustion in 2020. Québec released their Wood Production Strategy, in partnership with Indigenous communities and other stakeholders, and announced new funding of $82.2 million over 6 years for additional silviculture to sequester carbon. Atlantic Provinces continued an early intervention strategy to control spruce budworm outbreaks, to address associated GHG emissions from forest-level defoliation and dying trees. Governments also took action to continue the promotion of the use of wood for construction, through support for forestry-oriented strategies and programs such as British Columbia’s Office of Mass Timber Implementation, Ontario's Forest Sector Strategy, and New Brunswick's Wood in Construction of Public Buildings Policy.

Ontario shared a discussion paper proposing to make it easier and faster for farmers to expand in the emerging renewable natural gas market in Ontario. These changes were proposed to encourage the recycling of nutrients to generate clean energy, encourage sustainable agriculture, and help promote new economic development opportunities.

Canada has a large supply of sustainably managed forest biomass, as well as ample access to forest industry by-products and residues. As of 2018, biomass is the second largest source of renewable energy in Canada after hydroelectricity.Footnote 27 In 2020, biomass energy projects came online and continued operating across the country, such as projects from LaFarge Cement and Tolko Industries in Alberta. Governments promoted the use of bioproducts and biofuels in various industries and sectors through supporting initiatives and programs including Canada's $220 million Clean Energy for Remote and Rural Communities Program and Yukon's interdepartmental working group on harvesting and biomass supply opportunities and the Yukon Biomass Energy Strategy. To support use of available forest biomass and mill by-products, Ontario began to develop a draft Forest Biomass Action Plan in 2020 aimed at supporting job creation, economic development and a sustainable forest sector. The province’s renewable forest biomass value chain is poised to grow further following the initiation of several biochar and pulp projects. Québec continued implementation of the 2018-2023 Development Strategy for Québec’s Forest Products Industry and continued providing support for programs and initiatives to promote and increase the use of biofuels and biomass.

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments also worked to advance innovation in GHG-reducing projects through Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding programs. Prince Edward Island's Federation of Agriculture and Saskatchewan's Forest Management Planning system supported GHG-efficient management practices to reduce emissions and increase carbon storage in their agricultural and forestry sectors. Canada and British Columbia made investments to promote beneficial management practices (BMPs). Governments continued to implement programs to promote sustainability and innovation in the agricultural industry, including Manitoba's Ag Action Research and Innovation Activity, Ontario's AgriSuite greenhouse gas calculator, and Canada's Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and Agricultural Clean Technology programs. New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador also funded agriculture-related research initiatives with climate change mitigation potential.

In order to reduce waste, some jurisdictions have been diverting organic waste from landfills to produce bio-energy and bio fuels. British Columbia’s Organics Infrastructure Program, with funding support from the federal Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, facilitates the investment of $30 million towards organics processing infrastructures such as composting facilities or anaerobic digesters, and in 2020 13 new projects were announced and funded for a total investment of $5.4 million. Enerkem's facility in Edmonton, Alberta continues as the first operation in the world to produce renewable methanol and ethanol from non-recyclable, non-compostable municipal solid waste at commercial scale, reducing emissions by diverting waste that would otherwise be landfilled. Ontario posted proposed regulatory changes that would make it easier for farmers to establish on-farm renewable natural gas-generating anaerobic digesters which would encourage the recycling of nutrients to generate clean energy.

Government leadership

New Brunswick invested $4.6 million in government energy efficiency programs in 2020-2021 with an additional $2 million federal investment under the Climate Action Incentive Program. Forty-six building retrofit projects were completed with Departments of Health; Education and Early Childhood Development; Transportation and Infrastructure and Community Colleges.

In 2020, several governments released new climate plans, and updated their emissions reduction targets. Implementation of British Columbia’s climate plan, CleanBC, continued through 2020 and, in December 2020, the province set a new near-term interim emission target for 2025 of 16 per cent below 2007 levels. In September, the Yukon released “Our Clean Future: A Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy” that sets the territory’s climate change priorities for the next 10 years. In Québec, the 2030 PGE has become the province’s first framework policy on climate change. It will guide the provincial government’s actions over the next ten years. The 2030 PGE will allow Québec to ramp up its climate action in the vast majority of the sectors covered by the PCF. Québec also adopted An Act mainly to ensure effective governance of the fight against climate change and to promote electrification which revamps Québec’s governance structure in terms of the fight against climate change.

In September, Yukon released Our Clean Future: A Yukon Strategy for Climate Change, Energy and a Green Economy, which includes 131 actions that will address the impacts of climate change while building a green economy and ensuring Yukoners can access reliable, affordable and renewable energy over the next decade.

Québec launched its 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, and an implementation plan for 2021–2026, with a budget of $6.7 billion over five years. The 2030 PGE commits to reducing GHG emissions by 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030 and sets a trajectory towards carbon neutrality by 2050.

Canada introduced the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in November 2020. The purpose of the Act is to require the setting of national targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions based on the best scientific information available, and to promote transparency and accountability in achieving those targets, in support of achieving net-zero emissions in Canada by 2050, and Canada’s international commitments for mitigating climate change. On December 11, 2020, the Government of Canada released A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy as a federal plan to cut pollution and build a stronger, cleaner, more resilient and inclusive economy. Additional details on these plans and targets can be found in the Cross Cutting section of the Annex.

In December, Canada released a strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy, with $15 billion in new investments to meet and exceed the national GHG reduction target for 2030. In 2020, the national target was to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels, by 2030.

In the PCF, governments committed to demonstrate leadership through setting clear and ambitious targets to reduce GHG emissions from government operations, along with tangible plans to achieve them, to demonstrate that they are taking action and encourage other sectors to do the same.

In 2020, governments continued to find ways to cut emissions from public buildings and fleets, such as connecting facilities to clean energy sources, funding energy efficiency programs for public buildings, reducing or greening fleets, and updating government policies/strategies. For example, Canada announced in November 2020 an updated Greening Government Strategy that would take actions to transition to net-zero carbon and climate-resilient government operations, while also reducing environmental impacts beyond carbon, including on waste, water and biodiversity. British Columbia achieved carbon neutrality across its public sector organizations in 2020, marking its 10th anniversary of Carbon Neutral Government. In 2020, British Columbia also announced $50 million in funding to the Carbon Neutral Capital Program to reduce emissions and create additional savings from energy efficiencies. Saskatchewan and Manitoba both reduced their vehicle fleets, and New Brunswick invested $6.6 million in new energy efficiency programs for government operations, which included $2 million from the Federal Government’s Climate Action Incentive Fund. Québec’s 2030 PGE outlined numerous government-wide goals including electrifying government fleets and a 60% reduction in the carbon footprint of government buildings below 1990 levels.

In October 2020, Prince Edward Island committed to achieving a net-zero energy supply by 2030, and released a proposed framework to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. This represents the most aggressive GHG emissions reduction target in Canada. Prince Edward Island also legislated its 2040 target in December 2020.

International leadership

Many international partners are working to reduce global emissions and jurisdictions have determined, under the PCF, specific areas to achieve this objective. By the end of 2020, Canada had announced more than $2 billion worth of initiatives as part of its $2.5 billion five-year climate finance commitment, to help developing countries transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, as well as to mobilize private sector investments for climate action. Provinces and territories also supported a wide variety of development projects that address climate change and are playing an increasingly important role in sustained and scaled-up climate finance flows. For example, Québec invested nearly $9.5 million in the most vulnerable French-speaking countries to contribute to communities’ efforts to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The PCF prioritizes action to reduce emissions within Canada, but also recognizes that international carbon markets could complement domestic efforts and contribute to sustainable development abroad. Canada continues to explore how Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement could help achieve national climate targets.

The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) is a robust carbon pollution pricing instrument that has helped both Québec and California realize significant emissions reductions. The two jurisdictions are currently developing an accounting framework under the WCI to calculate how to allocate the net flow of emission reductions between them. The federal government continues to work with Québec to understand the methodology underpinning the accounting framework and explore how the net flow of emissions reductions could form the basis of an ITMO.

In 2020, governments also demonstrated leadership with continued engagement in trade and climate policy. Canada participated in various meetings to raise global ambition on climate change, biodiversity, clean energy, and other issues, including the G20 Environment Ministers Meeting on September 16, 2020, the G20 Energy Ministers’ Meeting on September 26-27, 2020, and the G20 Leader Summit on November 21-22, 2020. At the International Energy Agency’s inaugural Clean Energy Transitions Summit on July 9-10, 2020, Canada built strong multilateral support for an inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19 that accelerates progress on Paris Agreement targets and net zero emissions commitments. At the 11th Clean Energy Ministerial on September 22, 2020, Canada continued to put its leadership into practice by launching two collaborative initiatives, the Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero campaign to promote zero emissions commercial vehicles and the Biofuture Platform to grow the global bioeconomy. Canada continued actively participating in bilateral and multilateral trade and climate policy meetings and negotiations such as the United Nations’ high-level roundtable on climate ambition and the UN Biodiversity Summit. In 2020, Canada also co-convened with the United Kingdom several high-level virtual events of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, growing the coalition to over 100 members and continuing to drive global efforts to end emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Manitoba and Ontario continued to provide input into federal efforts to include references to climate change in international trade negotiations. In 2020, the Government of the Northwest Territories continued activities as a signatory of the Under2 Coalition, and provided input to the Carbon Disclosure Project. Northwest Territories also participated at the United Nations Environment Assembly information gathering meeting on Nature Based Solutions.

4.0 Adaptation

Canadians are seeing the consequences of climate change first-hand through an increase in extreme weather events resulting in flooding and wildfires, as well as slow-onset changes, such as sea-level rise. In its 2019 report Canada’s Top Climate Change RisksFootnote 28, the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) provided a comprehensive overview of climate risks in Canada. Based on the extent and likelihood of potential damage, the CCA identified physical infrastructure, coastal and northern communities, human health and wellness, ecosystems and fisheries as the top six areas affected by climate change. Other major risk areas identified include agriculture and food, forestry, water, governance capacity and geopolitical dynamics. Importantly, the report also recognized the severe impacts of climate change on Indigenous Peoples’ ways of life.

In December 2020, the federal government announced its intention to develop Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy. The Strategy would establish a shared vision for climate resilience in Canada, identify key priorities for increased collaboration, and establish a framework for measuring progress at the national level.

Climate impacts are not confined to a single sector or jurisdiction, and building resilience requires whole-of-society efforts, including action from across federal, provincial and territorial governments. Adaptation is a high priority for all orders of government, and has been a strong area of collaboration. Effort is under way across the country, in partnership with municipalities, Indigenous communities, the private sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations, to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The development of the PCF was an important advancement towards collaborating on adaptation action across jurisdictions. Under the Adaptation and Climate Resilience pillar of the PCF, governments committed to implement actions to share knowledge, build capacity and invest in on-the-ground adaptation projects.

Translating science and traditional knowledge into action

Scientific information and Traditional Knowledge are pivotal to our ability to be resilient to the potential impacts of climate change. Authoritative information and data help better model and project climate impacts and provides decision makers, communities and individuals with higher quality information on which to base adaptation actions. It is similarly important to build capacity to translate that information and data into concrete action by building platforms and offering training and skills development.

Ontario launched a provincial-level, multi-sector climate change impact assessment to evaluate how climate change is expected to impact the province by region and key areas of focus including infrastructure, food and agriculture, people and communities, natural resources, ecosystems and the environment, and business and the economy.

A number of initiatives have been implemented to support the provision of climate change science, and to inform concrete action. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments, National Indigenous Organizations, and others worked together to develop Climate Science 2050: Advancing Science and Knowledge on Climate Change, a national synthesis report that was undertaken to better understand the breadth of climate change science and knowledge needs that exist in Canada. The federal Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program also continued to support Indigenous-led, self-determined projects to monitor climate impacts, build capacity, and inform local and regional adaptation activities.

Yukon launched a Youth Panel on Climate Change and, in 2020, the Panel worked hard to develop recommendations on how government can accelerate work on climate action. The Panel met with elected officials, engaged with young people across Yukon, and worked with the Yukon First Nations Climate Fellows.

To ensure the best available climate science and knowledge is shared broadly with Canadians, federal, provincial, and territorial governments advanced work to develop regional climate organizations. This included work to build support and plan for a northern climate organization, the establishment of ClimateWest (a new climate organization in the Prairie provinces), and inviting organizations to apply to serve as the regional climate services organization in Atlantic Canada. This work was complemented by the addition of new climate information, tools and products on, a collaborative climate data portal supported by the Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS) and the network of regional organizations. A central repository of climate resilient codes and standards documents was added to the CCCS website. The CCCS also advanced the development of an interactive map of Canadian climate adaptation examples to support decision-making in this space. Canada also committed to develop the country’s first National Adaptation Strategy with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous Peoples, and other key partners.

Yukon launched a territory-wide climate change risk assessment to understand climate resilience, assess where community strengths and capacity exist, and how climate change will impact people and communities. This assessment mobilized both science and Indigenous knowledge. The results will inform adaptation decisions and help inform First Nations’ and communities’ planning.

With its 2030 PGE, Québec has begun a process of structured adaptation, focusing on prevention and consideration of the future climate, by targeting the major risks that Québec is already facing or could face. Québec’s climate transition will be based on science. For that reason, Québec has announced investments of nearly $40 million in the development of adaptation knowledge. The government will also continue to support the work of the Ouranos consortium, which plays an important role in this area. To build capacity, provinces and key stakeholders continued to implement projects under the federal Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise program, delivering various learning activities such as training, internship programs, workshops, webinars, and creating networks. Canada and Québec also provided funding for a new climate change adaptation training program for urban planners, architects and engineers. Ontario launched its first multi-sectoral provincial climate change impact assessment. The study will use the best available science and information to better understand where and how climate change is likely to affect areas including infrastructure, food and agriculture, people and communities, natural resources, ecosystems and the environment, and business and the economy.

Canada, through its Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise (BRACE) program, supported or partnered in supporting capacity-building efforts in 6 Canadian provinces. Recipients included universities, provincial governments (and a provincial government agency), an industry group, and a communication network for location-specific environmental organizations.

Building climate resilience through infrastructure

Infrastructure, such as our buildings and roads, is vulnerable to climate-related hazards, including extreme precipitation and storms, flooding, wildfires, coastal erosion, and permafrost degradation. Recent disasters have caused billions of dollars in infrastructure damages, threatening human health and economic opportunities such as trade. Integrating climate considerations into infrastructure design and development will ensure that new and existing infrastructure can withstand climate impacts, protect the health and safety of Canadians, and result in long-term cost savings.

In fall 2020, Alberta undertook 10 high-priority flood mitigation projects by investing $45 million to improve existing infrastructure. The province also created the Climate Adaptation Program, providing municipalities and Indigenous communities $4.5 million through an innovation and emissions reduction fund to take steps to build their adaptive capacity and adapt.

Action to advance resilient infrastructure has continued. New building and construction codes and standards have been developed to make buildings, bridges, roads, transit, water, and wastewater infrastructure more climate-resilient. Through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), work progressed on a framework to facilitate a common understanding of key natural infrastructure terms and concepts. Direct on-the-ground projects across the country, including those funded through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), will help ensure that infrastructure will be resilient to a range of impacts, including wildfires and flooding. For example, Alberta and Canada announced funding for two projects in Calgary intended to make the community more resilient to the effects of flooding. Saskatchewan announced $85 million to reduce the impacts of wildfires in northern communities and support municipalities with emergency preparedness planning. In Québec, the third and final call for projects under the Programme de soutien aux municipalités dans la mise en place d’infrastructures de gestion durable des eaux de pluie à la source, which aims to help municipalities implement sustainable rainwater collection infrastructure, ended on September 11, 2020, with a budget of $10 million. The selected projects join the 16 other projects that have been supported to date.

Manitoba continued consultation and engagement with 39 Indigenous communities and groups on construction of the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels in 2020. This $540 million multi-community flood protection enhancement project will help to strengthen Manitoba’s network of flood mitigation infrastructure, and detailed design work for both project components is underway.

Protecting and improving human health and well-being

Climate change is affecting the physical and mental health and well-being of Canadians. Threats to human health can occur through extreme heat events, the increased presence of infectious diseases and pests, and reduced access to traditional foods. The need to build resilience in human health has been underlined by the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately affected the elderly, the young, those with chronic physical and mental illness, and the economically disadvantaged.

Saskatchewan released its second annual Climate Resilience Report as part of the province’s Climate Resilience Measurement Framework that examines resilience to climate impacts. Four measures are used as indicators of human wellbeing and resilience, and the 2020 Climate Resilience Report demonstrated all four human well-being measures were meeting the Framework’s targets.

Initiatives are underway across the country to reduce harmful impacts of climate change to human health and wellbeing. Health Regions across the country have developed and delivered Heat Alert and Response Systems to prepare and plan for extreme heat and address community-specific needs. The HealthADAPT capacity building program continues to help the health sector prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change. Until March 31, 2022, the HealthADAPT program will be investing a total of $3 million in partnerships with 10 health authorities across 5 provinces and territories. The funding is to support their climate change and health efforts. In 2020, Canada advanced adaptation efforts by public health officials and individuals through the development and sharing of risk communications, maps and models, surveillance reports and monitoring activities, knowledge synthesis and education and awareness tools on ways to prevent and control identified infectious disease risks, with a focus on tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases. The federal Infectious Disease and Climate Change Fund invested in ten projects totalling $2.7 million, with 31 projects now up and running since its 2017 launch. Three of the ten projects funded in 2020 help to advance work under the Federal Framework on Lyme disease and Action Plan by raising awareness among youth and investigating new and emerging tick species. Additionally, these new projects will investigate, analyze, and improve knowledge gaps related to climate-driven food-borne, water-borne, and zoonotic diseases. Newfoundland and Labrador implemented a pilot project to determine the environmental burden of Lyme disease. In addition, recognizing the effects of climate change on access to traditional foods, Yukon delivered two projects to understand how communities are adapting to changes in traditional diets. Québec’s healthcare network, through the participation of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and 13 public health departments, has developed a regional assessment process for determining health-related climate change vulnerabilities. Multiple federal, provincial, and municipal partners collaborated on these projects.

Manitoba’s winter road system is affected by climate change and is a lifeline for many northern residents. Manitoba committed to investing $9 million to connect 22 northern communities to the road system, and providing access to supplies, essential goods and services.

Supporting particularly vulnerable regions

Some regions face disproportionate impacts from climate change due to a range of geographic, social, political, environmental, and economic factors. Canada’s North is seeing unique impacts from climate change, including on traditional food sources, melting ice, thawing permafrost, and disruptions to transportation services. Other vulnerable regions include areas such as isolated coastal locations that are susceptible to extreme weather, flooding and coastal erosion. Such impacts result in significant damages to ecosystems and livelihoods.

The Northwest Territories Climate Change Council was launched to bring together Indigenous governments and organizations, communities, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), and external partners. The Council will provide guidance and advice on GNWT climate change and environment programs in alignment with Indigenous and community perspectives, interests, and knowledge.

The federal, provincial, and territorial governments have taken action to build resilience in northern, Indigenous, and coastal communities. Canada’s Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative administered 11 projects that will develop knowledge about how climate change is affecting northern transportation systems and build capacity to respond to these challenges. The federal Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program supported community implementation of projects that built regional knowledge and capacity, and addressed adaptation needs. Canada’s Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program funded ocean monitoring in all three of Canada’s oceans, six joint projects under the ongoing Fisheries and Oceans Canada - US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Acidification Collaboration, and 15 research projects to better understand and forecast changing ocean conditions and impacts on ecosystems, fisheries, and coastal infrastructure. Five projects with Métis Nation organizations were also advanced, with agreements in place with the Métis National Council, Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Métis Federation and Métis Nation of Alberta to advance action on climate change and health. The Northwest Territories conducted a high-level risk assessment of climate impacts on infrastructure in communities. The Northwest Territories have also been developing a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Wildlife Management, which will set overall goals and an approach to guide current and new wildlife management actions based on priorities outlined by Indigenous governments/organizations and other management authorities. Alberta continued its development of an Indigenous Climate Change Observation Network, ensuring that Indigenous knowledge holders and scientists could share knowledge of climate change, and created the Climate Adaptation Program, providing TIER funding of $4.5 million to help municipalities and Indigenous communities to learn about climate adaptation, assess their vulnerability, and build climate adaptation plans. Nova Scotia supported increased resilience in coastal communities by continuing the development of regulations required to implement the Coastal Protection Act, which will include vertical and horizontal building setbacks for coastal areas and restrictions on structures that interfere with coastal ecosystems. Québec improved permafrost mapping and assessed its sensitivity to thaw in order to plan sustainable development for each of the 13 northern villages built on permafrost. Construction potential maps were developed to guide the villages’ expansion, factoring in development constraints and the geotechnical characteristics of the permafrost.

New Brunswick produced the “Sea-Level Rise and Flooding Estimates for New Brunswick Coastal Sections 2020” report, providing the latest projections of worst-case scenario coastal flooding elevations. All coastal high-risk municipalities have completed Climate Change Adaptation Plans identifying community vulnerabilities, areas at risk of flooding and erosion, and recommended adaptation measures.

Reducing climate-related hazards and disaster risks

Extreme weather events such as flooding and wildfires and slow onset changes that affect infrastructure, ecosystems and human health are growing in frequency and significance. Among these impacts include flooding, drought, extreme heat, longer fire seasons and more severe forest fires, high winds and winter road failures. To mitigate the social and economic costs of these impacts, governments implemented projects related to risk assessments, disaster risk reduction and emergency management.

Canada worked with provinces and territories through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to develop guidance for conducting climate change risk assessments across jurisdictions. Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador launched province-wide climate change risk assessments, and some developed adaptation strategies. Similarly, Nova Scotia continues to develop its own province-wide risk assessment. Federal, provincial, territorial governments, industry, and Indigenous communities helped establish a task force to develop options for a national high-risk flood insurance program and national action plan on relocation and participants from across Canada met to address standardization of the Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines Series in Canada. Canada and the provinces and territories continued to develop a joint Action Plan for the Emergency Management Strategy for Canada while Ontario and Québec have published region-specific plans to strengthen resilience to flooding. Ontario released its provincial Flooding Strategy in March 2020, outlining over 90 actions to strengthen resiliency to flooding and help Ontarians better prepared for flood events. The Flooding Strategy also highlighted actions to support local flood mitigation measures, flood mapping and flood risk assessment tools. Canada continued supporting Regional Integrated Assessment hubs to explore the effects of climate change on forested landscapes and develop responses to climate change impacts in forested communities. British Columbia’s Community Resiliency Investment Program provided approximately $13 million to help local governments and First Nations reduce wildfire threats around their communities.

Nunavut, in collaboration with Canada, revitalized its Long-Term Permafrost Monitoring Program. This program depicts long-term permafrost trends in approximately half the communities in Nunavut. It is used to better understand local rates of permafrost change and inform decision making for local infrastructure design, adaptation, and maintenance in a changing climate.

5.0 Clean technology, innovation, and jobs

Clean technology innovation is critical to achieving our emissions reduction objectives and at the same time offers enormous potential for Canada and the world. The World Economic Forum has estimated that opportunities arising from clean tech innovation in areas such as food, energy, and the urban and built environment will amount to $10.1 trillion in global annual business value and the creation of 395 million jobs by 2030.Footnote 29 Canadians have the opportunity to build on our strengths as innovators and producers of clean technology solutions to help Canada transition to a resilient and prosperous clean growth economy.

Canada’s environmental and clean technology sector, excluding waste management and electricity production, employed over 206,000 people in 2018. In the same year, Canadian clean technology exports totaled $12 billion, a 2 per cent increase over the previous year, and contributed $67.1 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product, representing an increase of 3.3 per cent from 2017.Footnote 30

Governments across Canada have been strengthening codes, standards, and regulations and have been delivering programs to support the development and incentivize the adoption of innovative clean technologies. These actions are supporting new jobs and opportunities for Canadian businesses by helping to lower costs through improved energy and resource efficiency and are helping meet environmental objectives through emissions reductions and other environmental benefits.

Building early-stage innovation

Research activities are foundational to Canada’s success as an innovator and clean technology producer and adopter. Canada is a globally recognized research leader, with a strong innovation environment. Government support, through direct funding, tax credits, and research infrastructure, has been critical to the development of Canada’s research strengths. Governments have continued to conduct and support mission-oriented research and development programs and projects and announced a number of new measures in 2020 targeted at early-stage technology development, with a particular emphasis on boosting economic recovery and supporting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian Emission Reduction Innovation Network (CERIN) announced projects selected for funding from their 2019 call for proposals. CERIN is jointly supported by Alberta and Canada with funding of up to $15.5 million to support clean technology development, to reduce methane emissions and short-lived climate pollutants from the oil and gas sector.

Canada provided approximately $683 million and $787 million in clean energy research and development funding in 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively. Canada also continued working with 24 countries and the European Union through the global Mission Innovation initiative, to accelerate clean energy innovation. British Columbia’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund and Sustainable Development Technology Canada continued to work together to support the development of pre-commercial clean energy projects and technologies. Alberta and Canada provided funding for clean technology development to reduce methane and short-lived climate pollutants from the oil and gas sector and Alberta announced $280 million in funding to support innovative projects for small, medium and large industries across all sectors in Alberta. Québec provided an additional $58.5 million over five years for research and innovation activities and funded an Industrial Research Chair at the Université de Sherbrooke, for the launch of the strategic Intelligent Energy Network. New Brunswick worked to develop a research cluster in the province to advance the development of small modular reactors.

Accelerating commercialization and growth

The demand for clean technologies in the global market is rapidly increasing and expected to continue to grow as countries, companies and individuals address the challenges of climate change and emissions reductions. There is an opportunity and an imperative for Canadian innovators to be globally competitive to get their technologies to market. Governments in Canada have made a number of investments in recent years to support businesses to attract and develop the talent and secure the capital needed to grow and to access international markets. Governments have also engaged in standards setting to ensure technologies developed in Canada will be able to access domestic and international markets.

Ontario funds 17 Regional Innovation Centres which provide services and programming to help entrepreneurs and innovators commercialize their ideas, attract the talent, capital, and customers they need to succeed and grow their businesses in Canada and internationally. Ontario also works with other organizations to support innovation and job creation activities.

In 2020, governments continued their support for a number of major initiatives. Canada continued to provide streamlined client services through the Clean Growth Hub and helped Canadian clean tech firms grow and access global climate finance opportunities through initiatives such as the International Business Development Strategy for Clean Technology and the Trade Commissioners Service. Québec’s Innovation Project supported businesses to carry out and market their innovation projects. Manitoba provided funding for the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association to deliver a range of programs on job training, and training for sustainable technology implementation. Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Immigration Pilot offered faster processing times for employers to bring skilled foreign workers and international graduates to fill identified labour gaps. The Standards Council of Canada advanced nine standardization proposals that will grow Canadian exports and create jobs, as well as five standardization proposals focused on intellectual property. 

Fostering adoption

The adoption of clean technology can help Canadians realize cost savings and other benefits such as more reliable and climate-resilient infrastructure, while also reducing emissions. Strengthening demand for clean technology in Canada can also help Canadian companies develop domestic markets and build momentum for Canadian technology solutions. Governments have an important role to play, both in supporting individuals, businesses and communities to adopt clean technologies, and also as a first adopter for government operations. In 2020, governments across Canada continued to implement programs to green government operations and support consumers, industry, Indigenous Peoples and northern and remote communities.

Alberta committed much of the TIER fund to support economic recovery projects and reduce emissions. Over three years, Alberta is spending up to $750 million from the TIER fund to support up to 8,700 jobs and inject $1.9 billion into the economy. Supported by TIER funding, Alberta’s Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Grant Program provides $100 million for projects like electricity co-generation, waste heat recovery, and low-carbon fuel feed systems.

The federal government, through Innovative Solutions Canada, supported Canadian businesses to develop and test innovative solutions to challenges identified by federal departments and updated its Greening Government Strategy, which encourages federal departments to adopt clean technology and undertake clean technology demonstration. Programs and initiatives such as Canada’s Northern REACHE Program, the Canada Infrastructure Bank Growth Plan, British Columbia's Community Energy Leadership Program, and Québec's Société du Plan Nord supported the adoption of clean technologies in Indigenous, northern and remote communities. British Columbia reduced GHG emissions from its buildings and fleet by increasing funding for the Carbon Neutral Capital Program to $50 million per year. Alberta announced up to $280 million in funding for three programs (the Shovel Ready Challenge, the Energy Savings for Business Program, and the Partnership Intake Program) to support approximately 5000 jobs and reduce an estimated 13 million tonnes of GHG emissions by 2030. Nova Scotia advanced work to convert fossil fuel heating systems at government facilities to new, efficient wood chip heating systems. Newfoundland and Labrador invested $14 million to continue to transition public buildings to clean electricity, through electrification retrofits, as well as energy efficiency improvements.

Strengthening collaboration and metrics for success

Governments have long recognized the importance of working together on climate change efforts to make best use of available resources and maximize benefits. Addressing gaps in Canada’s clean technology and innovation data has been identified as a central focus for coordinated action by jurisdictions, to identify and track metrics of success, and assess the impact of government initiatives. A number of actions continued or were launched in 2020, including the work of Canada’s Clean Growth Hub, which signed an information-sharing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nova Scotia, in addition to existing MOUs with British Columbia and Alberta.

Canada launched the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Action Plan, building on the momentum of Canada’s SMR Roadmap, and laying out the next steps to develop and deploy SMRs in Canada. New Brunswick, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Yukon, and Prince Edward Island and Nunavut’s Qulliq Energy Corporation contributed to the Action Plan.

Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Ontario, Québec, Manitoba, and New Brunswick worked to harmonize efficiency standards for home appliances with federal regulations through the Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table. The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Clean Growth continued discussions on data produced through the Clean Technology Data Strategy. The Canadian Centre for Energy Information, a collaborative effort involving federal, provincial and territorial governments and a wide range of energy stakeholders, launched its website to facilitate access to Canada’s energy-related data and analysis. Canada launched the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Action Plan, building on Canada’s SMR Roadmap published in 2018. Following on the 2019 agreement of the Atlantic Provinces and the federal government to work together to develop a Clean Power Roadmap for Atlantic Canada, Canada released the Clean Power Road Map Interim Report in August 2020.

6.0 Reporting and oversight

Measurement and reporting on emissions

Governments continued to deliver on PCF commitments to measure and report on GHG emissions in 2020. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment completed its review of the methodologies used to estimate black carbon emissions. The results point to potential improvements that could be made in the reported National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) emissions data and challenges with the availability of detailed fuel consumption statistics. The federal government is currently working to improve the NPRI emissions data and consultation is underway with the NPRI Stakeholder Committee on proposed changes to requirements for air pollutant reporting. Potential changes are anticipated for the 2022 reporting year.

Québec adopted An Act mainly to ensure effective governance of the fight against climate change and to promote electrification which gives the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate change the responsibility to give directives to the departments and public bodies concerning the methods they must apply in order, in particular, to calculate the quantity of greenhouse gas emitted, reduced, prevented or limited. These directives will ensure coherence throughout governmental action.

Alberta continued its leadership in methane emissions measurement. New measurement and reporting requirements took effect to improve methane inventories from the upstream oil and gas sector.  In fall 2020, Alberta also committed to invest over $30 million in programs to improve identification and quantification of methane emission sources from the sector. The $10 million Baseline and Reduction Opportunity Assessment Program supports small and medium-sized oil and gas operators to conduct detailed assessments of methane reduction opportunities and fugitive emissions. The $3 million Sundre Petroleum Operators Group Pilot Methane Emissions Management Program and the $17 million Alberta Methane Emissions Program support investigation and testing of alternative approaches to detection and quantification of fugitive and vented emissions.

External analysis and advice

Governments recognize the importance of incorporating external and expert analysis and advice into the development and execution of their climate change activities. Climate change science is an ever-evolving field, with new and updated scientific reports, climate projections, and emissions estimates released that inform government considerations. Engaging with external experts provides unique perspectives that governments can consider and incorporate into their activities.

Canada tabled the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act on November 9, 2020. The Act includes specific measures for third party review, the provision of independent advice, and the public release of reports and plans. For example, the Act establishes an advisory body which will provide the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with independent advice on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The advisory body will provide independent advice to the Minister through its annual reports, and the Minister must publicly respond to the advice in their annual reports. Moreover, the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development must, at least once every five years, examine and report on the Government’s implementation of climate change mitigation measures, including those undertaken to achieve each target.

Québec adopted An Act mainly to ensure effective governance of the fight against climate change and to promote electrification which, among other things, establishes an advisory committee on climate change, and provides advice to the government on guidance, programs, policies and strategies in the fight against climate change, while taking into account scientific and technological knowledge as well as scientific consensus on a given topic. The law came into force on November 1, 2020.

In Budget 2018, Canada announced funding to fulfill the PCF commitment to engage external experts to assess the effectiveness of its measures and identify best practices. In 2019, the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) was selected to receive funding support through a competitive, open call for proposals process. The CICC formally launched in January 2020 and, in turn, released a number of reports and case studies throughout the year.Footnote 31 The Institute is a wholly independent organization and retains full control over its research, findings and policy recommendations.

7.0 Federal engagement with Indigenous Peoples

The Government of Canada has continued collaborative engagement with Indigenous Peoples through three distinctions-based, senior, bilateral tables, in accordance with joint commitments made by the Prime Minister and National Leaders of the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council in 2016. These forums seek to ensure First Nations, Inuit and Métis are full and effective partners in advancing clean growth and addressing climate change through robust, ongoing and meaningful engagement based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including free, prior and informed consent.

Consistent with lessons learned at the senior bilateral tables over the past three years, the Government of Canada continues to explore avenues to strengthen support for Indigenous priorities in addressing the negative impacts of climate change. Since the adoption of the PCF, Canada has invested over $770 million to support Indigenous climate projects in areas of adaptation planning, clean energy, health, infrastructure, and climate monitoring, among others.

In December 2020, Canada released its strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, which recognizes the significant and disproportionate environmental, economic, and social impacts of climate change on Indigenous Peoples and their communities.Footnote 32 This plan was informed by the engagement undertaken with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation since the creation of the bilateral tables. A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy builds on the foundational principles of Indigenous climate leadership to support self-determination and seeks to implement the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by committing to work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples to co-develop decision-making guidance that will ensure all of Canada’s future climate actions help advance Indigenous climate self-determination.

Working with First Nations

In 2020, the First Nations—Canada Joint Committee on Climate Action (JCCA) identified five areas for collaboration in the area of climate, which will continue to guide joint work between the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations in coming years. Priority areas include:

The JCCA met three times virtually in 2020 and held several workshops to advance this work, and released its 2020 Annual Report to the National Chief and the Prime Minister.Footnote 33

Working with the Métis Nation

The Métis Nation—Canada Joint Table on Clean Growth and Climate Change has met five times since it was first established in 2017. The fifth Joint Table meeting was scheduled for March 2020 in Vancouver, but, due to COVID-19, the meeting was postponed until February 2021. Members of this Joint Table have begun to build relationships to identify Métis Nation-specific considerations for designing programs and delivering funding under the PCF and to share information toward the co-development of climate policy. Federal departments responsible for implementing the PCF are striving to adjust their programs and policies and to work with the Métis Nation on a distinctions basis. This includes work to shape community-based climate monitoring initiatives and to advance self-determined, Métis Nation climate-action priorities. Priority areas include:

Working with Inuit

The Inuit—Canada Joint Table on Clean Growth and Climate Change has held three official meetings. The Joint Table’s November 2020 meeting focused on advancing Inuit-Crown priorities on climate change using the National Inuit Climate Change Strategy (NICCS) as a framework for joint action. To date, the Government of Canada has committed to provide $1 million to support the implementation of the NICCS. The Secretariat of the Joint Table is in the process of drafting a work plan to determine specific roles of federal departments in supporting the implementation of the NICCS moving forward. The federal government’s support will continue to help advance Inuit-led activities and initiatives in the following areas:


2.0 Carbon Pollution Pricing


British Columbia






Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador


The Northwest Territories


3.0 Complementary Actions to Reduce Emissions

3.1 Electricity

Increasing renewable and non-emitting sources
Connecting clean power with places that need it
Modernizing electricity systems
Reducing reliance on diesel and working with Indigenous Peoples and northern and remote communities

3.2 Built environment

Making new buildings more energy efficient
Retrofitting existing buildings
Improving energy efficiency for appliances and equipment
Supporting building codes and energy efficient housing in Indigenous communities

3.3 Transportation

Setting standards and improving efficiency
Putting more zero-emission vehicles on the road
Shifting from higher-to-lower emitting modes and investing in infrastructure
Using cleaner fuels

3.4 Industry

Reducing methane and HFC emissions
Improving industrial energy efficiency
Investing in technology

3.5 Forestry, agriculture, and waste

Increasing stored carbon
Increasing the use of wood for construction
Generating bioenergy and bioproducts
Advancing innovation in GHG-efficient management practices in forestry and agriculture

3.6 Government leadership

Setting ambitious targets
Cutting emissions from government buildings and fleets
Scaling up clean procurement

3.7 International leadership

Delivering on Canada’s international climate finance commitments
Acquiring internationally transferred mitigation outcomes
Engaging in trade and climate policy

4.0 Adaptation

4.1 Translating scientific information and traditional knowledge into action

Providing authoritative climate information
Building regional adaptation capacity and expertise

4.2 Building climate resilience through infrastructure

Investing in infrastructure to build climate resilience
Developing climate-resilient codes and standards

4.3 Protecting and improving human health and well-being

Addressing climate change-related health risks
Supporting healthy Indigenous communities

4.4 Supporting particularly vulnerable regions

Investing in resilient infrastructure to protect vulnerable regions
Building climate resilience in the north
Supporting community-based monitoring by Indigenous Peoples
Supporting adaptation in coastal regions

4.5 Reducing climate-related hazards and disaster risks

Investing in infrastructure to reduce disaster risks
Advancing efforts to protect against floods
Supporting adaptation in Indigenous communities

5.0 Clean Technology, Innovation and Jobs

5.1 Building early-stage innovation

Supporting early-stage technology development
Mission-oriented research and development

5.2 Accelerating commercialization and growth

Access to government programs
Increasing support to advance and commercialize innovative technologies
Strengthening support for skills development and business leadership
Expedite immigration of high-qualified personnel
Promoting exports of clean technology goods and services

5.3 Fostering adoption

Leading by example: greening government operations
Supporting Indigenous Peoples and northern and remote communities adopt clean technologies
Consumer and industry adoption

5.4 Strengthening collaboration and metrics for success

Enhance alignment between federal, provincial, and territorial actions
Establishing a clean technology data strategy

Cross cutting


British Columbia




Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador


6.0 Reporting and oversight

The majority of indicators draw data from Canada’s National Inventory Report, which reports on Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions annually, on a two-year time delay. This means that the 2020 National Inventory Report, reports Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2018, the first year of implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.Footnote 38

Measurement and Reporting on Emissions

3.0 Complementary Measures to Reduce Emissions
IndicatorFootnote 39 Data (2017) Data (2018) Source
Total annual greenhouse gas emissions, by economic sector

Total annual greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e): 714 Mt

By sector (CO2e)Footnote 40:

  • Oil and gas: 188 Mt
  • Electricity: 73 Mt
  • Transportation: 179 Mt
  • Heavy industry: 76 Mt
  • Buildings: 85 Mt
  • Agriculture: 71 Mt
  • Waste and others: 42 MtFootnote 41

Total annual greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e): 729 Mt

By sector (CO2e)Footnote 42:

  • Oil and gas: 193 Mt
  • Electricity: 64 Mt
  • Transportation: 186 Mt
  • Heavy Industry: 78 Mt
  • Buildings: 92 Mt
  • Agriculture: 73 Mt
  • Waste & Others: 42 Mt
2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table ES-3, pp 10.
Total emissions per capita 19.5 t CO2e per capita 19.7 t CO2e per capita 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Figure ES-4, pp 6.
Emissions intensity of the economy 0.35 Mt CO2e per billion dollars of GDP 0.35 Mt CO2e per billion dollars of GDP 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Figure ES-1, pp 4
3.1 Electricity
IndicatorFootnote 39 Data (2017) Data (2018) Source
Electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions by fuel type Coal: 57 200 kt CO2e
Natural Gas: 16 300 kt CO2e
Other fuels: 4 820 kt CO2e
Coal: 44 100 kt CO2e
Natural Gas: 21 000 kt CO2e
Other fuels: 4 690 kt CO2e
2020 National Inventory Report, Part 3, Table A13-1, pp 60
Emissions intensity of electricity supply Generation intensity: 130g CO2e/kWh

Consumption intensity: 140g CO2e/kWh
Generation intensity: 120g CO2e/kWh

Consumption intensity: 130g CO2e/kWh
2020 National Inventory Report, Part 3, Table A13-1, pp 60
Electricity generation by fuel type
  • Coal: 55 900 GWh
  • Natural Gas: 35 100 GWh
  • Other fuels: 8 290 GWh
  • Nuclear: 95 600 GWh
  • Hydro: 361 000 GWh
  • Other renewables: 32 100 GWh
  • Other generation: 200 GWh
  • Coal: 47 000 GWh
  • Natural Gas: 43 300 GWh
  • Other fuels: 8 440 GWh
  • Nuclear: 95 000 GWh
  • Hydro: 353 000 GWh
  • Other renewables: 34 000 GWh
  • Other generation: 210 GWh
2020 National Inventory Report, Part 3, Table A13-1, pp 60
3.2 Built Environment
IndicatorFootnote 39 Data (2017) Data (2018) Source
Absolute emissions from the built environment 85 Mt CO2e 92 Mt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 2-12, pp 56
3.3 Transportation
IndicatorFootnote 39 Data (2017) Data (2018) Source
Absolute emissions from the transportation sector 179 Mt CO2e 186 Mt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 2-12, pp 56
Total emissions from road vehicles, divided by light and heavy duty vehicles
  • Total emissions from road vehicles: 148 000 kt CO2e
  • Emissions from light-duty vehicles: 84 821 kt CO2e
  • Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles: 62 600 kt CO2e
  • Total emissions from road vehicles: 154 000 kt CO2e
  • Emissions from light-duty vehicles: 87 891 kt CO2e
  • Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles: 65 400 kt CO2e
2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 3-7, pp 67
Greenhouse gas emissions from off-road transportation 5 120 kt CO2e 5 350 kt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 3-7, pp 67
Number of electric charging and alternative fuelling stations 2 049 electric charging and alternative fuelling stations (funded by government programs). 2 164 electric charging and alternative fuelling stations (funded by government programs). Electric Charging and Alternative Fuelling Stations Locator, Natural Resources Canada. 2018-09-04. Web Map.
Domestic aviation emissions 7 340 kt CO2e 7 900 kt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 3-7, pp 67
Domestic railway emissions 7 490 kt CO2e 7 650 kt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 3-7, pp 67
Domestic maritime emissions 3 720 kt CO2e 3 780 kt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 3-7, pp 67
Zero-emission Vehicles as Proportion of Total New Vehicles RegisteredFootnote 43 1.00 per cent 2.21 per cent Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) as a proportion of total new vehicles registered in Canada. StatsCan. February 11, 2021.
3.4 Industry
IndicatorFootnote 39 Data (2017) Data (2018) Source
Absolute emissions from heavy industry 76 Mt CO2e 79 Mt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 2-12, pp 56
Greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industry, by sub-sector
  • Mining: 7 Mt CO2e
  • Smelting and refining (non-ferrous metals): 11 Mt CO2e
  • Pulp and paper: 7 Mt CO2e
  • Iron and steel: 15 Mt CO2e
  • Cement: 11 Mt CO2e
  • Lyme and gypsum: 3 Mt CO2e
  • Chemicals and fertilizers: 22 Mt CO2e
  • Mining: 8 Mt CO2e
  • Smelting and refining (non-ferrous metals): 10 Mt CO2e
  • Pulp and paper: 8 Mt CO2e
  • Iron and steel: 16 Mt CO2e
  • Cement: 11 Mt CO2e
  • Lyme and gypsum: 2 Mt CO2e
  • Chemicals and fertilizers: 24 Mt CO2e
2020 National Inventory Report, Part 3, Table A10-2, pp 11
Total methane emissions 3 700 kt CH4 (92 000 kt CO2e) 3 700 kt CH4 (91 000 kt CO2e)Footnote 44 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 3, Table A9-3, pp 7
3.5 Forestry, Agriculture and Waste
IndicatorFootnote 39 Data (2017) Data (2018) Source
Absolute emissions from forestry, agriculture and waste 90 Mt CO2e 92 Mt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 3, Table A10-2, pp 11
Forest area artificially regenerated 376 916 hectares planted.

17 292 hectares seeded.
356 371 hectares planted.

6 003 hectares seeded.
Area artificially regenerated and number of seedlings planted. National Forestry Database, Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. 2021 02 23.
Emissions sequestered through forestry and land use activities -16 000 kt CO2e -13 000 kt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 6-1, pp 142
Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture 71 Mt CO2e 73 Mt CO2e 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 2-12, pp 56
Greenhouse gas emissions from waste, by source
  • Biological treatment of solid waste: 0.45 Mt CO2e
  • Incineration and open burning of waste: .39 Mt CO2e
  • Industrial Wood Waste Landfills: 3.5 Mt CO2e
  • Solid waste disposal: 12.5 Mt CO2e
  • Wastewater treatment and discharge: 1.1 Mt CO2e
  • Biological treatment of solid waste: 0.45 Mt CO2e
  • Incineration and open burning of waste: .39 Mt CO2e
  • Industrial Wood Waste Landfills: 3.4 Mt CO2e
  • Solid waste disposal: 12.3 Mt CO2e
  • Wastewater treatment and discharge: 1.1 Mt CO2e
2020 National Inventory Report, Part 1, Table 2-11, pp 51
Landfill gas flaring for beneficial use 463.56 kt CH4 flared and utilized (of which 197.92 kt is flared, and 265.64 kt is utilized) 473.68 kt CH4 flared and utilized (of which 201.67 kt is flared, and 272.01 kt is utilized) 2020 National Inventory Report, Part 2, Table A3.6-6, pp 174
3.6 Government Leadership
IndicatorFootnote 39 Data (2017) Data (2018) Source
Greenhouse gas emissions from government operations 960.1 kt CO2e (FY 2017-18) 1.1 Mt CO2e (FY 2018-19)Footnote 45 Item 2Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Related to Federal Facilities. Government of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
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