Strengthened Climate Plan for a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy
As the Government of Canada continues to protect and support Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also important that the country look to the future. Canadians want to see a growing middle class where no one is left behind. They want a future where their kids and grandkids have access to clean air and water. That future is within reach. Collectively, Canada needs to accelerate climate action to get there.
A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy is Canada’s plan to build a better future. This plan builds on the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. It continues down the path that Canadians, their governments, and businesses have been setting.
This plan is a cornerstone of the government’s commitment in the 2020 Speech from the Throne to create over one million jobs, restoring employment to pre-pandemic levels. The plan includes 64 new measures and $15 billion in investments in addition to the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s $6 billion for clean infrastructure announced this fall as part of its growth plan.
A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy will make life more affordable for households. It will make Canadian communities more livable. And it will, at every turn, focus on workers and their careers in a fair and just transition to a stronger and cleaner economy. The plan will do this through five pillars:
Making the Places Canadians Live and Gather More Affordable by Cutting Energy Waste
Energy-efficient homes and buildings are more comfortable and cost less to power. This plan will make it easier for Canadians to improve the places in which they live and gather. This will cut pollution, make life more affordable and create thousands of good jobs and new careers in construction, technology, manufacturing and sales. To bring these benefits to communities, the government will:
Making Clean, Affordable Transportation and Power Available in Every Canadian Community
The government will expand the supply of clean electricity through investments in renewable and next-generation clean energy and technology, and encourage cleaner modes of transportation, such as low and zero-emission vehicles, transit and active transportation. This will make communities healthier, less congested and more vibrant.
To ensure Canadians have access to cleaner, more affordable transportation options, the government will:
And to make clean, affordable electricity options more available, the government will:
Continuing to Ensure Pollution Isn’t Free and Households Get More Money Back
Canada has proven that putting a price on carbon pollution and returning the proceeds back to households can meet our economic needs and our environmental goals at the same time. We cannot grow the economy we all want and need if it’s free to pollute. Moving forward, the government proposes to:
In the context of the continued increase to the carbon price, the scope of the Clean Fuel Standard has been narrowed to cover only liquid fossil fuels. This is a progression in the design of the Clean Fuel Standard from its initial discussion in 2016, when it was proposed that the new measure would cover liquid, gaseous and solid fuels.
Building Canada’s Clean Industrial Advantage
In the years ahead, Canada’s industrial advantage and the jobs that will come from it will depend on the speed and success of decarbonisation efforts. In order to achieve the country’s full potential, the government must assist Canadian companies as they seek to meet the demands of domestic and global consumers for low-carbon goods and services, and make investments that can drive Canada’s low-carbon economy.
That is why the government will:
The government will also:
Embracing the Power of Nature to Support Healthier Families and More Resilient Communities
Just as nature is under threat from climate change, it is also an ally in the fight against it. By planting two billion trees and better conserving and restoring our natural spaces, the government will cut pollution, clean the air we breathe, make communities more resilient and increase access to natural spaces. The government will also create thousands of jobs in areas such as tree planting, urban planning and tourism. The government will:
The plan also commits to developing Canada’s first-ever national adaptation strategy. It contains new measures to support Indigenous climate leadership. It will support a strong Canadian contribution toward international climate action. Every dollar spent in the post‑pandemic stimulus plan outlined in the Fall Economic Statement—amounting to three to four percent of GDP—will be assessed for its effectiveness in furthering the goals of this plan. The plan also commits to applying a climate lens to integrate climate considerations throughout government decision-making.
A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy builds on continuing work through the Pan‑Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The Pan‑Canadian Framework has done more to cut pollution in a practical and affordable way than any other climate plan in Canada’s history. Taken together with the Pan‑Canadian Framework, this means Canada will exceed its 2030 greenhouse-gas-reduction target—making it the first time ever this country has set a climate target and outlined a path to not only meet it but exceed it.
The plan will also establish the right building blocks to get to net zero by 2050 so that our kids and grandkids can grow up in a country with clean air and water.
Moving forward, the federal government will consult with provinces and territories, Indigenous partners, and Canadians in all socio-economic sectors to further elaborate a strong plan for a healthier environment and economy that we can implement together. By further working with provinces and territories, the government is confident Canada can achieve reductions within the range of 32 to 40 percent below 2005 levels in 2030. So let’s keep working together to build a healthier environment and healthier economy.
The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, delivered on the Government’s commitment to legislate Canada’s goal of net zero by 2050, by tabling the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in the House of Commons.
The Act will:
• Legally bind the Government and future generations to a process to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
• Set rolling five-year emissions-reduction targets and require plans to reach each one and report on progress.
• Establish the Net-Zero Advisory Body to provide independent advice to the Government on the best pathway to reach its targets.
• Require the Government of Canada to publish an annual report describing how departments and crown corporations are considering the financial risks and opportunities of climate change in their decision-making.
• Enshrine greater accountability and public transparency into Canada’s plan for meeting net-zero emissions by 2050.
• Provide for independent third-party review by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to ensure accountability for all future governments.
Our community and Canadians in general want a future where their kids and grandkids have cleaner air and healthier communities. They want a future where people around the world equate “made in Canada” with the cleanest and most sought after products, in a marketplace that prizes quality and sustainability. They also want a future with new jobs and careers in a resilient economy that will last not just next year, but in 2030, 2040, and beyond. This future is within our reach, but we must start to position ourselves for it now. It will require taking action on climate change, which continues to present a threat to our health and economy.
I am pleased to share with you an important milestone in the fight against climate change. The government announced the next steps in its plan to achieve zero-plastic waste by 2030. A key part of that plan is a ban on harmful single-use plastics where there is evidence that they are found in the environment, are often not recycled, and have readily available alternatives.
Based on those criteria, we are proposing to ban six items:
• plastic checkout bags
• stir sticks
• six-pack rings
• and food ware made from hard-to-recycle plastics
The regulations will be finalized by the end of 2021.
Proposed Integrated Management Approach to Plastic Products to Prevent Waste and Pollution: https://www.canada.ca/.../plastics-proposed-integrated...
The government also published the final Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution, which can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/.../science-assessment-plastic....
Restoring our Biodiversity
The government's plan includes ambitious conservation targets–25 per cent of Canada’s land and 25 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2025, working toward 30 per cent of each by 2030. The government also remains committed to exceeding the Paris Agreements, which aim to reduce by 30% Canada's 2005 GHS emissions by 2030. Our approach will continue to be guided by science and Indigenous knowledge.
Protecting natural spaces is also just one component of the important work our government is doing on environmental issues. Some other examples of our work include:
- Implementing a price on pollution that cuts emissions and puts money back into the pockets of families;
- Phasing out from Coal energy by 2030
- Creating the Oceans Protection Plan to protect our coastlines;
- Working towards a ban on single-use plastics;
- Setting ambitious targets for zero-emission vehicles sales; and
- Committing to plant two billion trees.
Hydrogen Strategy for Canada
Minister O’Regan launched the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, an ambitious framework that seeks to position Canada as a global hydrogen leader, cementing this low-carbon and zero-emission fuel technology as a key part of our path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The use of clean hydrogen across the country can lower the emissions of sectors like resources extraction, transportation, power generation and manufacturing. The options and pathways in the hydrogen strategy have the potential to strengthen Canada’s economic competitiveness, grow export potential, attract investment, and create up to 350,000 new jobs by 2050.
The Hydrogen Strategy for Canada is an ambitious framework that will position us as a global hydrogen leader. As part of the strengthened plan to fight climate change, this national strategy will position Canada to benefit from the growing global demand for hydrogen – a market that is expected to reach almost $12 trillion by 2050.
This is the result of three years of research and analysis in collaboration with 1,500 leading experts and stakeholders from workers, industry, other levels of government, Indigenous partners, and academia. By investing in innovation, we will lower our carbon emissions. This is how we get to net-zero emission by 2050.