Canada’s vision for a clean growth future
Canada is doing its part by reducing its emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. We are doing our part by moving towards a clean energy economy. We are improving the way we design and build our communities, transportation systems, homes and workplaces.
The science is clear: climate change is happening. Canadians are experiencing these changes right now. We are seeing glaciers melting, permafrost thawing, sea levels rising, and more extreme weather. The World Health Organization has said that climate change is this century’s greatest threat to human health.
Canadians have a proud history of overcoming global challenges.
In 2015, Canada worked with nations from around the world to reach the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global temperature increase to well below 2°C.
Throughout 2016, Canada worked with dozens of countries to negotiate the global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) found in air conditioners and refrigerators - the world’s fastest growing source of emissions.
In March 2016, First Ministers agreed to continue to work together with Indigenous Peoples to strengthen the economy and reduce emissions through a broad range of actions.
In the fall of 2016, Canada laid out plans to put in place a price on carbon pollution, to clean up Canada’s electricity generation, and to make our cars and trucks pollute less. These are just some of the measures that will foster innovation and keep Canada competitive on the world stage
In 2017, as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Canada is making investments in clean energy, transit, green infrastructure and clean technology research. These investments will reduce emissions, create jobs and strengthen our economy.
Infrastructure, such as sewage systems, will be built to withstand the extreme weather and other symptoms of climate change. Planting more trees on unused land will reduce erosion and store even more carbon. These trees will improve air quality and support biodiversity. Using sustainably harvested Canadian wood in construction will reduce the carbon footprint of our towns and cities.
Our communities will see more well-paying jobs from local clean energy projects, like solar and wind farms. Investments in clean energy will mean more clean energy to power electric vehicles. More charging stations make zero emission vehicles a better option. Canadians who decide not to drive will have more access to quicker public transit and safer bike paths.
What success will look like
Josée and Marianne
Josée and Marianne live in Saint Eustache, Quebec. They love living away from the hustle and bustle of Montreal, but Josée spends close to two hours each workday driving to and from downtown Montreal. She also pays over $100 a month just for parking. Marianne loves Montreal but sometimes experiences breathing difficulties due to air pollution. She would love to bike to work in nearby Laval, but is concerned about safety.
In the not so distant future, Josée will enjoy a quick and peaceful commute to downtown Montreal on light rail, powered by clean hydro-electricity. Marianne will have a dedicated bike lane to use to bike to work, and can use an electric bus when it’s rainy or cold outside. They decide they don’t need two cars. With fewer gas powered cars and buses on the road, Josée and Marianne also enjoy cleaner air.
Moving forward, our homes and other buildings will be more resistant to fire, floods, heat and wind. Homes will be better insulated, requiring less energy to heat and cool – saving us money. We will power our homes with clean energy. Increasingly, homes will be ‘net zero’ – they will produce as much energy as they use.
Canadian households will produce less waste, and most of the waste they do produce will be recycled or composted. Where waste does end up in landfills, systems will harvest methane gas and turn it into energy.
What success will look like
Mike and Anita
Mike and Anita and their kids live in Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan. Currently they spend close to $100 a month to heat their home and water using fossil fuels. They also spend about $250 a month on gas for their car.
In the not so distant future, Mike and Anita will power their homes and vehicles with clean energy. They will save money over time by installing a geothermal heat pump, adding insulation, and replacing their roof with solar shingles. A home battery will store the sun’s energy to power the home and their new electric vehicle even on cloudy days.
Continued investments in education, research and development will strengthen Canada’s clean energy and technology sectors. Stronger, more competitive businesses will create more well-paying jobs. Innovation spurred by pricing carbon pollution will result in cutting-edge technologies and services. Trade agreements and marketing will help Canadian businesses export these products and services. Smart grids and strategic interconnections will deliver clean energy across the country and continent. These and other major projects mean more well-paying jobs. Canada is becoming a world leader in the clean economy of tomorrow.
What success will look like
Tanya, Lee and Hassim
Tanya, Lee and Hassim are roommates studying at their local community college in Nova Scotia. Tanya is studying to become an electronic engineering technician, Lee is studying carpentry, and Hassim is studying construction management technology.
After graduating and completing an internship, Hassim lands a great job with a firm specializing in shoring up coastline against rising sea levels and severe weather events. Lee finds that his skill-set is in high demand due to an increased focus on building energy efficiency driven in part by advances in building codes. After a few years working in her field, Tanya starts her own business specializing in installing off-grid and grid-connected energy systems that store and transmit solar, wind and wave energy.
- Clean energy is already one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy. Canada’s clean energy sector has 20 times as much wind energy capacity and 125 times as much solar electricity capacity as it did a decade ago.
- The Canadian clean technology market generated about $11.6 billion in revenue in 2014, and exports accounted for half of these revenues. The 2016 Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report estimates that the clean energy sector directly employs 55,600 Canadians and analysts have suggested that, with support, the number of jobs in the sector could reach 76,000 in 2022.
- This fall, the Government of Canada announced $21.9 billion over 11 years for green infrastructure which will include targeted investments to support greenhouse gas reductions and enable greater climate change adaptation and increased resilience. This investment will in part support the attraction of the capital investments necessary to transition Canada's electricity system towards 90 percent non-emitting by 2030.
- Budget 2016 committed $10.7 million over 2 years to implement renewable energy projects in off-grid Indigenous and northern communities that rely on diesel and other fossil fuels to generate heat and power.
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