The Government of Canada released A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy* (PDF) on December 11, 2020. While media attention has focused on the increase in the federal carbon tax on fuels to $170 a tonne by 2030, the plan includes 64 policies and programs and $15 billion in investment to cut pollution and build a clean economy, including:
- Canada Infrastructure Bank Growth Plan: $2.5 billion to clean power projects over the next three years. The Bank has a long-term investment target of $5 billion for clean power, which includes renewables, storage, and transmission lines. For example, the Bank is currently collaborating to advance the “Atlantic Loop” intertie project and the Government of Canada plans to continue working closely with the Government of British Columbia on the Clean BC Plan.
- Clean Fuel Standards: Invest $1.5 billion in a Low-carbon and Zero-emissions Fuels Fund to increase the production and use of low-carbon fuels including hydrogen, biocrude, renewable natural gas, diesel, and cellulosic ethanol. The Government of Canada also plans to introduce Canada’s Hydrogen Strategy, which is anticipated in the next few weeks. In addition, the Government of Canada will continue to make it more affordable to purchase clean vehicles and plans to invest $287 million over two years to continue the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) program until March 2022.
- Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net-Zero Accelerator Fund: Invest $3 billion over five years to “rapidly expedite decarbonization projects with large emitters, scale-up clean technology and accelerate Canada’s industrial transformation across all sectors.”
- Energy Efficient Buildings: Invest $2.6 billion over seven years to assist Canadians with energy efficiencies at home and $1.5 billion over three years for green and inclusive community buildings, such as energy efficient windows in public libraries. Ten per cent of this funding is allocated to projects serving Indigenous communities.
- Plant Two Billion Trees: Invest up to $3.16 billion over 10 years, through collaboration with provinces, territories, non-government organizations, Indigenous communities, municipalities, and private landowners to plant tress as well as efforts to conserve wetlands, grasslands and restore land and habitat.
- Net-zero by 2050: the proposed Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12) requires the Government of Canada to achieve net-zero emission by 2050 and includes interim 5-year milestone targets from 2030. The plan recommends creating a legislative requirement in the proposed Act to provide Indigenous communities with the opportunity to make submissions when setting or amending national greenhouse gas emissions targets under the proposed Act.
Many of the proposed actions in the plan require consultation and engagement with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, labour, industry, and civil society. The Government of Canada plans to launch consultations on proposed regulatory, policy, and program measures immediately. Fasken can help make submissions on your behalf during these consultations.
*The plan builds on the government’s 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PDF).