Canadian Prime Minister’s Throne Speech Sets Forward a Sweeping Climate Mitigation Agenda

Canadian Prime Minister’s Throne Speech Sets Forward a Sweeping Climate Mitigation Agenda

CLIMATE POLICY – Canada’s minority government received a confidence vote on its September 23rd Throne Speech plan (which opens every new session of Parliament). The pillars of the plan announced by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau are to: fight the pandemic and save lives, support people and businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, reconciliation, recognize Canada’s progress on gender equality, and combat racism.                                    

Climate action is the plan’s cornerstone in creating one million green jobs by using a range of direct investments in the social sector and infrastructure including public transit, energy efficient retrofits/vehicles, clean energy, rural broadband, affordable housing, and reducing impacts of climate-related disasters—particularly for Indigenous Peoples and Northern communities. Investments include subsidizing wages, training to quickly up-skill workers, and incentives for employers to hire and retain workers in environmental sectors.

This plan is overall designed to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal and legislate Canada’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050. A new fund will attract investments in making zero-emissions products and cut corporate tax rates for these companies. A Clean Power Fund will support investments in renewable energy and next-generation clean energy and technology. The Government plans to continue taxing polluters to channel funds back into Canadian pockets, expand urban parks, and plant two billion tress across the country. The Government will also update Canada’s Environmental Protection Act and create a new Canada Water Agency; the hope is to build more resilient water and irrigation infrastructure and help coastal communities while conserving terrestrial and ocean ecosystems. You can learn more from the Throne Speech here.

On September 16, an independent Task Force for a Resilient Recovery (led by IISD) shared a final report recommending C$55.4 billion in green recovery investments to support long-term jobs and economic growth through investments in energy-efficient and climate-resilient buildings. These investments would jumpstart Canada’s production and adoption of zero-emission vehicles, fund Hydrogen energy industries, and invest in restoring and conserving natural infrastructure all while increasing climate resiliency of nearby communities. Carbon storage, biodiversity, and conservation efforts would all be bolstered through more aggressive funding.

CLIMATE PROGRAMS – The Canada Infrastructure Bank (October 1) (overseen by The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities) announced a three-year, C$10-billion “growth plan” expected to create 60,000 jobs as part of the promise from the recent Throne Speech. $2.5 billion for clean power and storage, $2 billion for building energy retrofits, $2 billion to extend broadband access to underserved communities, $1.5 billion for zero-emission buses, and $1.5 billion for agriculture infrastructure. Visit: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/CIB-BIC/index-eng.html


Activity Rating:   *** Moving in the Right Direction

Throne Speech promises that Canada will immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal, and pass a new law mandating net-zero emissions by 2050. It’s critical that this be followed by concrete policy in the coming days.


Contact information for key persons involved in these news stories –

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Email:
justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca 
Mail: 
House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Telephone:  1 613 995-0253, Fax 1 613 941-6900

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Email:  Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca
Mail:  House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Telephone: 1 613 996-5322


For more information, please email Climate Scorecard Canadian Country Manager:  Diane Szoller at Canada @climatescorecard.org

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