Canada: Achieving a Sustainable Future

Canada’s  Federal government has released a report entitled Achieving a Sustainable Future, a wide-ranging plan for building the nation’s economy while decarbonizing the country. It provides a high level of detail on numerous initiatives and programs.

It includes inputs from Provinces, groups and individual Canadians, and also integrates other related national plans and international collaborations.

Its structure includes measurable goals, milestones and deadlines in each area, responsible ministries, key priorities, specific initiatives, action plans and budgets. Thirteen aspirational goals are presented first, and are followed up with the aforementioned elements, to establish a comprehensive strategic plan of some 128 pages including Annexes and references.

It is impressive in terms of stakeholder integration, economy building, greenhouse gas reduction priorities, demonstrated commitment, technologies and initiatives, conservation and regulatory protection of Canadians’ health and Canada’s rich biodiversity.


• By 2030, 90% and in the long term, 100% of Canada’s electricity will be generated from renewable and non-emitting sources (nuclear will be phased down).

• A commitment to undergo a peer review of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies under the Group of Twenty (G20) process.

• Transportation vehicles: Zero-emission vehicles will represent 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. Measures include a new federal purchase incentive of up to $5000 for eligible vehicles with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $45,000.

• A coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle fast chargers will be established along key highway corridors.

• Carbon Price: Continued implementation of a price on carbon with 90% of the collected revenue returned to low-polluting taxpayers through tax rebates under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Growth and Climate Change (multilateral), which also includes commitments to reduce emissions across the economy; build adaptation and climate resilience; and support clean technology, innovation and jobs.

• Carbon Price: Small business rebates: Refunds between 25% – 50% on the cost of new energy-saving equipment such as appliances, which could include fridges, dishwashers, heating and cooling equipment, anti-idling devices and high efficiency boilers.

• Carbon Price: Small business funding of up to 25% of eligible costs for energy-efficient retrofits and other projects to improve energy efficiency, reduce their energy use and save money.

• Low carbon transition: Help to re-skill existing workers and create opportunities for youth in highly skilled trades and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

• Buildings: A Market Transformation Roadmap, for space heating, water heating and windows to decarbonise homes and business buildings.

• Buildings: The Green Municipal Fund (Budget 2019) $950 million to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and multi-unit buildings. Delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

• The Energy Innovation Program – $52.9 million per year for projects focused on significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the areas of electricity, buildings, transportation and industry.

• Immediate expensing and accelerated depreciation tax incentives for clean energy equipment including solar and geothermal.

• The publishing of net-zero energy ready building code requirements starting in 2020, with the goal that provinces and territories adopt a net-zero energy ready model building code by 2030 to enable new buildings to consume as little energy as possible.

• Regulations h published, meeting commitments to the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce consumption of harmful refrigerants by 85%.

Funding:$50 million over the next 3 years for clean technology firms under the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (In addition to the $400 million in Budget 2017).

Clean energy expertiseexports:A goal to increase the value of Canada’s clean technology exports to $15.6 billion by 2025. $1.4 billion to the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada to increase access to capital to allow companies to scale into global competitors.

Research:Continuing support for the Emerging Renewable Power Program, which supports emerging renewables such as geothermal, tidal and offshore wind, and the Smart Grid Program.

Promotion of substantive climate change provisions in Canada’s free trade agreements.

• Updates to regulations on air pollution, contaminated site cleanup, chemicals management, and transparency in these areas.

• By 2020, a completed re-evaluation of remaining legacy pesticides.

• An action plan to implement the Canada-wide strategy on zero plastic waste.

• Support for remote and northern communities in building capacity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including reduced reliance on diesel.

• Protection of nature: $1.35 billion (Budget 2018) for the Nature Legacy to support nature conservation and protection activities, including conserving and protecting at least 17% of our land and freshwater; protecting and recovering species at risk and their habitats; and improving Canada’s natural environment. Includes $500 million for the new Canada Nature Fund to support protection and conservation of ecosystems, landscapes and biodiversity, including species at risk, and aligns with ocean conservation work under the federal Oceans Protection Plan.

• Government assets: Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from federal government facilities and fleets by 40% by 2030 (or 2025) and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050

• Government assets: By 2022, all new federal buildings (including build-to-lease and public-private partnerships), starting at the latest in 2022, will be constructed to be net-zero carbon. New buildings and major building retrofits will prioritize low-carbon investments based on integrated design principles, and life cycle and total-cost-of-ownership assessments.

• Government assets: By 2030, 75% of domestic office lease transactions must be carbon neutral.

• Government assets: The government will use 100% clean electricity by 2025.

• Government assets: Departments will develop a strategic approach and take actions to decarbonize their fleets (including on-road, air, and marine).

It’s an impressive, highly detailed plan. You can read and/or download the strategy here:

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