OTTAWA | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE — The David Suzuki Foundation’s experts are available to comment on the federal government’s release today of its fall economic statement.

Sabaa Khan, the Foundation’s director general for Quebec and Atlantic Canada and climate solutions, said:

“With affordability and housing top of mind, let’s remember that clean energy technologies are helping reduce costs for people across the country — while the costs of climate change are increasing, and rising fossil fuel costs are helping drive inflation.

“It is promising to see support for housing in Canada. All new housing must be energy-efficient, free of fossil fuels and aligned with the National Adaptation Strategy to ensure community resilience. Electric heat pumps are more energy-efficient than heating with oil or gas and reduce energy bills once installed. Strategic and comprehensive climate policies will help protect the planet, nature and, ultimately, us.

“As the government moves forward with legislation to define criteria for clean electricity tax credits and other funding announced in Budget 2023, it must maintain key conditions on emissions reductions and labour to ensure that funding actually leads to Canada achieving 100 per cent clean electricity by 2035.

“Prioritizing tax credits for carbon capture and storage is not strategic or effective, given that CCUS deployment has consistently fallen behind expectations and remains a risky investment.

“Even as governments look to trim budgets, we can’t afford not to invest in smart solutions to the climate, affordability and nature crises that are affecting Canadians every day. Funding climate action and nature protection in Budget 2024 will be essential for protecting livelihoods, mitigating physical risks and enhancing long-term financial and environmental security.

“Both carrots and sticks are needed to make progress on environmental priorities. Strong and effective regulations will help ensure investments achieve results. We’re looking forward to the federal government’s promised cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector, stronger methane regulations and progress on its clean electricity regulations. These need to happen as quickly as possible. We can’t afford any more delays or back-tracking.”

The David Suzuki Foundation is a member of the Green Budget Coalition. Among the priorities for Budget 2024 are a recommendation for significant spending on supports for low-income households with energy-efficiency and cost-saving measures, as well as significant investments in Canada’s move to affordable, reliable, zero-emissions electricity by 2035.

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