Recovery and Budget Actions in 2020-2021
Green Budget Coalition Recommendations for Recovery and Budget Actions in 2020-2021
The Green Budget Coalition, of which Pembina Institute is a member, is calling on Canada’s governing parties to support an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that creates jobs while accelerating Canada’s responses to climate and biodiversity crises.
This coalition comprises 25 of Canada’s largest environmental and conservation organizations which together have more than a million members and supporters, and decades of experience solving Canada’s biggest environmental challenges. It is recommending a $10 billion investment in building retrofits to improve energy efficiency and phase out fossil fuels starting with schools, hospitals, social housing and residential buildings, and a $4.8 billion investment in clean transportation. (Note: In October, the Canada Infrastructure Bank announced its Growth Plan committing $2 billion to large-scale building retrofits, and $1.5 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emissions buses and charging infrastructure.) The coalition is also calling for $2.6 billion to reduce carbon emissions using nature-based solutions, and $4.8 billion toward protected areas, including support for Indigenous protected areas and Guardians programs, along with investments in renewable energy and efforts to support communities through a green recovery.
On building retrofits
$10 billion — To retrofit Canada’s buildings and homes to get them off fossil fuels, improve energy efficiency, make them more resilient to climate impacts and health crises, and help integrate more clean, renewable sources of power in the electricity grid. This can be done by increasing the ambition of the residential retrofits programs announced in the 2019 platform, enhancing the National Housing Strategy funding for the retrofit of affordable housing, co-financing deep retrofits of public and commercial buildings through the Canada Infrastructure Bank ($2 billion was announced in October 2020), and investing to grow the green building workforce.
On policy certainty for investors
Increase the price of carbon beyond 2022 — This will offer much-needed certainty for investors and long-term incentives and flexibility for industry and consumers to move toward low-carbon options.
Strike a better balance between protecting emission-intensive and trade-exposed sectors against leakage and incentivizing emissions reduction — While it is appropriate to address competitiveness risks, the federal carbon pricing system subsidy for large emitters must apply only to those that can demonstrate material competitiveness pressures that result from a carbon pricing differential between Canada and competing jurisdictions.