Home retrofits, tree planting, electric cars will create jobs, lower emissions;
strong climate plan, accountability law key to realizing green recovery
OTTAWA — While today’s fall economic statement focused largely on COVID-19 response, its significant new funding for climate and nature measures will create jobs in a clean economy and lay a foundation for a green and just recovery, according to the David Suzuki Foundation.
“Investments announced today will help us respond to the dual crises we face — the pandemic and ecological collapse — at the same time. While that’s encouraging, these investments won’t have the desired impact without a strong climate plan and accountability law,” Foundation interim executive director Ian Bruce said.
The statement announced $100 billion in stimulus spending, including $2.7 billion for home energy efficiency retrofits, $150 million in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and $3.16 billion for nature-based solutions, including planting two billion trees.
“The government sees that environmental protection can put people in Canada to work. Home retrofits, tree planting and electric cars don’t create emissions, but they create jobs,” Bruce said.
“We’re thrilled to see government recognize that protecting, restoring and working with nature are essential to the health of Canada’s climate, biodiversity and communities,” Foundation director general for Western Canada Jay Ritchlin said. “But investing in nature as a climate solution is not a substitute for reducing emissions at their sources. We look forward to working with government to develop rigorous rules that make these commitments meaningful.”
The Foundation also welcomes the government’s renewed commitment to permanent funding for public transit and to transit system electrification.
On November 19, the government introduced Bill C-12, its Net Zero Climate Accountability Act, designed to ensure Canada meets its 2050 emissions-reduction target of carbon neutrality. The government said it will deliver a climate plan “in the coming weeks,” which the Foundation looks forward to reviewing.
“Strong climate accountability legislation and regulatory action to reduce emissions are needed to buttress these important investments and ensure Canada reaches its full potential for creating jobs while tackling the climate emergency,” Foundation director general for Quebec and Atlantic Canada Sabaa Khan said.
Over the summer, 150,000 people throughout Canada wrote the federal government in support of a green and just recovery from COVID-19; more than 45,000 were David Suzuki Foundation supporters.
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Note: The David Suzuki Foundation is a member of the Green Budget Coalition. Read the GBC’s 2020-2021 Budget recommendations.
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