VANCOUVER — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal NDP’s newly unveiled climate plan:
“The NDP’s new climate plan helps sets the stage for an election in which three parties now have serious plans to tackle climate change. This is the political debate that needs to be front and centre in Canada, a debate over the best ways to fight climate change, over ramping up ambition—rather than the current headline-dominating fight to make pollution free again.
“In many ways, the NDP plan builds on the federal government’s pre-existing efforts, particularly in transportation and buildings, two of the largest sources of emissions in Canada. These efforts could help create jobs in Canada’s fast-growing and already significant clean energy sector, a sector explored in Clean Energy Canada’s most recent report.
“We’re glad to see, for example, that the plan would keep the federal electric car rebates while offering buyers an additional tax break, on top of expanding the national network of fast-chargers. And on transit, providing low-cost financing to local governments to help electrify buses and trains, something we hope to see federally as the government pledged earlier this week to move in this direction.
“We’re also glad to see bold ideas to literally build a cleaner Canada, with a 2030 target for all new buildings to be carbon neutral and a 2050 target to retrofit all pre-existing buildings, including every Canadian home.
“The plan introduces two ideas we’ve long advocated for as well: a Climate Accountability Office to audit Canada’s polluting-cutting performance, and a $3-billion climate bank to help breed successful Canadian companies and expand our globally competitive clean energy sector.
“Yesterday, in a scene awash in Biblical irony, wildfires burned in the background and blanketed Edmonton in smoke as Premier Jason Kenney officially ‘scrapped’ Alberta’s carbon price. Today, as with the Green Party climate plan revealed earlier this month, we’re seeing the opposite of that: political leadership in the face of climate catastrophe.
“We sincerely hope the Conservative climate plan coming out in the weeks ahead takes climate change just as seriously. With fires, floods, and the fact that we’re warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, we live on the front lines of climate change in Canada.”
- There were 298,000 jobs in Canada’s clean energy sector in 2017.
- The value of the clean energy sector grew by 4.8% a year between 2010 and 2017. Compare that to the whole of Canada’s economy, which grew by 3.6% annually over that same period.
- The number of jobs grew by 2.2% a year between 2010 and 2017—nearly 60% faster the Canadian average.
Op-ed | “Don’t fear Canada’s economic transition – our new economy is already here” (Globe and Mail)
Poll | Broad support for a range of policies—including carbon pricing—to help reduce emissions and fight climate change (Abacus Data and Clean Energy Canada)