More Federal Funding Needed to Achieve Net Zero by 2050, Report Says

– The background: Last year, the federal government passed an accountability act that requires five-year emissions targets to get Canada to net zero by 2050. It also created an advisory body to help chart a course. to be continued. Last spring’s emissions reduction plan set out the Liberals’ strategy for meeting their 2030 goal, to cut emissions by 40-45% from 2005 levels, and included C$9.1 billion in new spending. .

– More money: The report shows that net zero federal spending is on the rise, but estimates that it still represents only about 10-20% of needs – a total of 125-140 billion Canadian dollars per year until 2050, according to the last budget. Some of that additional investment will come from businesses, households and other levels of government, the council says, but it won’t be enough to close the gap.

“As this is the spending requirement each year until 2050, each time spending falls below the target, the need for future investment increases,” the report says.

The council says the government should not only increase federal funding for zero-emissions initiatives, but should also help “de-risk” private sector investments through loan guarantees and tax incentives, for example.

— Compete with the neighbour: The report points out that the United States Inflation Reduction Act includes “major incentives” in sectors such as hydrogen production, biogas and carbon capture, use and storage. “Canada should seek to match or exceed these incentives to avoid being perceived as less attractive to internationally mobile capital,” it read.

— Carbon leakage: The council also advises the federal government to look beyond Canada’s borders and consider the global carbon footprint of imported products. He argues that Canada’s net zero policies will not reduce global emissions if they force companies to relocate to other countries with lax environmental policies – a process called “carbon leakage”. The report lists iron and steel manufacturing, sawmills and pulp and paper mills among the industries most vulnerable to leaks.

The council says Canada should consider border carbon adjustments as a measure to protect the competitiveness of Canadian industries.

— A just transition: The report goes on to suggest that the federal government has not been transparent about what will be needed to transition Canada’s workforce to a low-carbon economy. He points out that the emissions reduction plan highlights the potential for creating 235,000 to 400,000 new jobs in the transition to net zero. But the plan fails to recognize that “moving to net zero will have economic winners and losers,” the council said.

The government must come up with a more detailed skills plan that sets out which sectors will grow and contract, and how different provinces will be affected, the report says.

— More transparency: Ottawa also needs to be more open with ratepayers about the challenges they will face during the transition to net zero, the council concludes, “including one-time costs (e.g., a new heat pump), changes to daily bills and support from government programs in financing these costs.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Net Zero Council is for companies that have publicly committed to net zero by 2050. Its members include GE Canada, PwC Canada, Suncor Energy, BMO, Air Canada and Uber Canada .


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