The Canadian Climate Action: Clean Power and Consensus Building. What Is It and How Can I Benefit?
What is it?
As a follow-up to the Paris Agreement reached in 2015, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) published a paper in June of this year titled, Canadian Climate Action: Clean Power and Consensus Building. Its purpose is to inform and encourage industries and enterprises to embrace the Paris Agreement and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
Canada has set a target, in accordance with the Pan-Canadian agreement, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.1 The CEA has proposed guidelines that take into account regional diversity, constraints of physical infrastructure, availability of local natural resources and electricity system plans. The Canadian electricity sector has already done more to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than any other industry sector. Ontario is taking the lead in Canada’s climate change efforts, in compliance with Ontario’s Cap and Trade program. But if we as a country are to meet the Canadian GHG emission targets, we need to do more to reduce our carbon footprint.
The CEA’s recommendations are a step forward to forming a consensus between government and industry to form a long-term climate action strategy. Their recommendations are:
Government Fiscal Support
The Canadian government is being encouraged by the CEA to address the short- to medium-term competitive objectives of the electricity industry, by employing new fiscal policies, offering investment support and implementing innovative regulatory tools including:
- Lowering corporate tax rates and providing better capital cost allowance (CCA) rates.
- Offering incentives for the development of new technologies to produce clean energy.
- Accelerating funding for innovative infrastructure developments.
- Assisting Canadian firms to promote their clean energy innovations in the global market.
- Providing financial aid by offering funding or loan guarantees for clean energy projects.
Reduction of Regulatory Barriers
To meet Canada’s clean energy objectives, the government has been urged to reduce regulatory barriers to clean energy projects. Outdated processes for the approval of clean energy projects that could reduce GHG emissions today are being delayed. Keeping in line with the government’s environmental objectives, it has been asked to reduce the red tape for the approval of innovative clean energy projects.
Investment in Innovation
The CEA also suggests the Canadian government not only encourage but also invest more in innovation at all levels if they hope to meet Canada’s clean energy objectives. The gap between government policy on innovation and funding of such projects needs to be narrowed. Federal and provincial authorities need to fund transformative innovation and infrastructure projects to meet the goals of the Pan-Canadian agreement.
Education and Outreach Programs
It is essential that all Canadians are educated on the importance of climate change and clean energy. To do this, the CEA is urging the government to develop public education and outreach programs to encourage a nationwide accord on clean energy and climate change. Canadians need to understand that investing in a cleaner future comes with both opportunities and challenges. The government must make it clear to the public about the costs associated with the clean energy program and the risks of inaction.
How Can I Benefit?
From fiscal support from the government to ways to overcome regulatory barriers to innovation incentives, this is just a snapshot of the opportunities you can capitalize on.
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Want to learn more about Ontario’s Cap and Trade program? Download our Cap & Trade Insight Report!