Media Releases

Federal government’s new climate plan is brave, honest, and historic

VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s climate plan update:

“When it comes to climate action, honesty is the best policy.

“There’s no two ways about it: the updated climate plan unveiled today is historically and globally significant. Most importantly, it’s a comprehensive and honest plan to get Canada to beat its 2030 climate target.

“The plan will also retool and position Canada’s economy to be increasingly competitive in a low-carbon world. It matches the level of effort we’re seeing among Canada’s largest trading partners: the EU, China, and the actions proposed by the incoming Biden administration in the U.S.

“Pricing pollution is one of the most effective and efficient ways to curb emissions, which is why the policy is so popular among economists. The federal government’s approach is in line with the level of effort needed to tackle the environmental and economic crisis facing us.

“Beyond pricing pollution, the plan also includes $15 billion to help strengthen Canada’s clean economy. There will be funding for key emerging sectors like clean hydrogen, investments to build out Canada’s electric vehicle auto sector alongside continued EV rebates for drivers, and a strategy for industries to decarbonize their operations while considering the competitive landscape ahead.

“Poll after poll has shown that Canadians don’t want to be left behind in the global shift to clean energy. With a Biden presidency kicking off the new year and game-changing clean stimulus plans from countries like Germany, the U.K., and South Korea, it’s clear that Canada must compete on climate if it’s to compete economically into the future.

“A year ago, this government was given a clear mandate on climate by Canadians at the polls. One very eventful year later, they are delivering on that mandate.”

KEY FACTS

  • Two out of three people in Canada would like to see Canada as either “world leading” (27%) or “among the most ambitious” countries in the world (39%) when it comes to a shift toward clean energy and clean technology, according to a new poll from Clean Energy Canada and Abacus Data.
  • Nine out of ten (89%) Canadians believe the country “needs a strategy to help sectors across our economy adapt in ways that will make them highly competitive in a lower carbon global economy,” according to the same poll
  • Compared to funding for fossil fuels, clean stimulus creates nearly three times as many jobs for every dollar invested by governments, according to McKinsey.
  • The federal government recently introduced legislation that legally commits it to reduce Canada’s carbon pollution from the 729 megatonnes in 2018 to its stated goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Sweden currently operates the highest carbon price in the world (around CA$177 per tonne of carbon dioxide). Since its introduction, Sweden’s emissions have decreased by 27% while its gross domestic product has grown by 83%.
  • For the second year in a row, the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s February review of the federal carbon pricing system concluded that because of the Climate Action Incentive rebate, “most households will receive higher transfers than amounts paid in fuel charges” and “the net benefits are broadly progressive by income group. That is, lower income households will receive larger net transfers than higher income households.”

RESOURCES

Poll | Most Canadians want Canada to be ‘world leading’ or ‘among the most ambitious’ when it comes to shifting to clean energy and clean technology

Op-ed | “Building electric cars in Canada is key to reaching climate goals, recharging auto industry” (CBC)

Report | Taking the Wheel

Report | Final Report from the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery (Merran Smith sits on the task force)