CEEA: Federal budget spurs economic and environmental opportunities to meet climate goals
OTTAWA, March 24, 2017 – The Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance welcomes the federal government’s budget 2017, as it further confirms this government’s support for a clean energy future. The budget will provide strong support to meeting the 2030 climate change goals that the current and previous governments have committed to. Furthermore, it will help build the skilled workforce that will be required to transition to a cleaner energy future, and position Canada in the increasingly competitive global landscape for clean and efficient energy solutions.
“CEEA sees great economic and environmental opportunity in this budget. The federal government is walking the talk by backing its policy goals with dollars. We appreciate the commitment, and look forward to working together as it implements these critical initiatives,” said CEEA CEO Elizabeth McDonald.
According to the International Energy Agency, improved energy productivity is both the largest and the lowest-cost solution for meeting the world’s climate challenge. If pursued aggressively, opportunities to cost-effectively increase energy efficiency in homes, businesses, industry and transportation could meet nearly half (49 per cent) of the world’s commitment to reduced carbon emissions, as adopted in the Paris Accord.
A study commissioned by the previous Conservative government showed programs to improve energy efficiency could generate 60,000 net new jobs in Canada by 2019, and double that after 15 years. That far surpasses the 23,000 people directly employed in Alberta’s oil sands industry.
“Canada cannot afford to miss out on the tremendous economic opportunity created by the worldwide shift to a cleaner, more energy efficient future. This budget supports our nation’s competitiveness, and the jobs that will be created,” noted CEEA Chair Martin Luymes.
2017 budget backgrounder
- Major green infrastructure projects will be supported through a Green Infrastructure Bank. The government will invest $21.9 billion in green infrastructure, including initiatives supporting the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Funding will flow through three distinct streams: integrated bilateral agreements, the Canada Infrastructure Bank and a series of national programs.
- The retrofitting of existing buildings and for building new near-net-zero consumption buildings across Canada will be supported with $182 million – this is in line with CEEA’s recommendations on the Pan-Canadian Climate Framework.
- Reduce the reliance of remote and Arctic communities on diesel fuel with $220 million allocated to help make that happen.
- Improved social housing is a major goal for this government as it invests $11.2 billion over 11 years in affordable housing. Based on what has happened in Europe and discussions CEEA has had with CMHC and provincial and municipal governments across Canada, we know that energy efficiency will play a critical role.
The Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA) is the country’s leading independent advocate promoting the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. CEEA works with the federal and provincial governments and stakeholders, to ensure energy efficiency is a priority for all sectors of the economy. By monitoring, examining and developing energy efficient public policy ideas, programs and standards, CEEA is an effective resource for policy makers, businesses, consumers, energy companies and environmental groups.
CEEA’s members include large international corporations, Canadian utilities and a wide variety of energy efficiency associations including the Canadian Construction Association, ElectroFed, HRAI and the Mechanical Contractors of Canada. Representing almost 25,000 like-minded industry members, CEEA is proud to advance a strong voice for energy efficiency.