Canada’s new climate plan is historic because it is the first to follow the science and chart a clear path to the 2030 target. A high and rising price on carbon is the cornerstone of the plan, sending a strong and predictable market signal that will drive investment in climate solutions.
We’re picking up what the government is laying down, and we’re ready to support the work and address the gaps. Here is our breakdown and analysis of the best opportunities for two of the biggest emitters:
13% of Canada’s carbon emissions come just from the fossil gas used to heat buildings (add 9% from electricity). The government has got the message: We need to retrofit all of Canada’s buildings, and doing so has many benefits.
- The carbon price per tonne will increase $15 per year up to $170 by 2030. This will double the consumer cost of natural gas, which immediately improves the business case for building retrofits. The plan protects affordability by rebating Canadians on a quarterly basis.
- $6.1 billion in total funding (including previously announced Canada Infrastructure Bank funding) will provide a boost for the retrofit market, help to attract private capital, develop the workforce needed, and make retrofits more affordable for home and commercial building owners.
- Vital new standards and targets for reducing fugitive methane will reduce significant emissions from the full life cycle of natural gas (fossil gas).
26% of Canada’s emissions come from transportation and the zero-emissions vehicle market is an opportunity for Canada’s resource and industrial sectors.
- The Clean Fuel Standard (the liquid stream focused on gasoline and diesel for vehicles) is on track for implementation. This regulation will reduce about 20 megatonnes of carbon a year by 2030
- $1.5 billion is committed to fund the production and use of low-carbon fuels, including hydrogen. This will support cleantech innovation in both the building and transportation sectors
- $1.5 billion in financing for zero-emission transit and school buses will help cities reach their targets for transportation
- Incentives to spur the electric vehicle market and make them more affordable
Advancing the climate agenda in the GTHA
The big federal climate plan is here, just as TAF is setting up for our own ambitious 2021. Our sights are set on:
- Partnering with housing providers to initiate deep retrofits in 3,000 housing units this year, mobilizing $150 million in investment to leverage public funding and attract more capital into low-carbon activity
- Supporting municipalities to adopt green development standards for new buildings and performance standards for existing ones
- Providing grants and investment capital to enable even more low-carbon activity like workforce development (clean jobs!), and EV charger installations
- Publishing new research on growing challenges like fugitive methane emissions and embodied carbon in new construction
Addressing the gaps
While a market signal like a steep carbon price is an efficient, cost-effective way to reduce pollution, we need more to get the rest of the way to net-zero. We’re disappointed to see the gaseous stream of the clean fuel standard removed from the government’s plan and no increased ambition of the 2030 target in line with global leaders on climate. The path to decarbonize transport in Canada has a long way to go. We want to see more investment in transit, a zero-emission vehicle mandate, and a stronger tie to social equity as this plan evolves.
A backdrop for success
At the close of an unpredictable year, you can count on TAF to stay the course, follow the carbon, and focus on action. For the first time we have a federal climate plan before us with many key pieces in place. The transition from fossil fuels has a role for everyone to play, including cities and provinces, industry, and the wider community.
With the federal climate plan as a backdrop for progress, we have renewed ambition and focus that we can move the climate action agenda forward next year.