Ottawa, ON – Today’s federal budget will enable the government to make progress on environmental initiatives, especially on climate change and clean energy innovation, although some of the announced measures are too modest to achieve federal commitments.
This budget provides funding to develop and implement crucial sections of the pan-Canadian climate framework, including:
- Developing standards for improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings
- Building electric vehicle charging stations, and improving the fuel efficiency of aviation, rail, and marine transport
- Phasing out coal-fired power plants
- Developing a clean fuel standard for transport, industry and buildings
The $700 million that is allocated to help Indigenous and other remote communities get off diesel for heat and power is particularly welcome.
The budget also allocates over $2 billion to innovation in the clean tech sector. What is also needed, however, is for emerging technologies to find markets in the Canadian economy. Strong regulatory policies on climate change and clean energy can expand market opportunities and allow clean tech innovation to truly take hold.
However, only two small measures in the budget address the government’s promise to eliminate subsidies to the oil and gas sector that act as a negative carbon price. Government support for oil and gas companies will be reduced by only $50 million per year, so subsidies will continue to total in the billions. There is also no clarity on how the Canadian government will fully achieve the commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies.
Finally, there is some funding for managing lakes and rivers in Canada. Approximately $25 million per year will be allocated over the next five years to prevent invasive species, reduce toxic inputs, and better manage biodiversity in Canada’s freshwater systems, including the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, and Lake Winnipeg. While this is an increase from previous years, it is a long way from what is actually needed to protect and restore Canada’s freshwater systems. In particular, it is unclear how this funding will ensure Canada meets nutrient reduction targets under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 247; 416-356-2587 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org