Pollution Probe Reaction to Federal Climate Plan
TORONTO, December 14, 2020 – Pollution Probe supports the bold ambitions in the Government of Canada’s A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy plan. As Canada rebuilds from COVID-19, we need a bold plan that will help Canada meets both its environmental and economic goals, and that this is accessible to all Canadians.
Although carbon pricing is a key pillar of the plan, it is important that additional programs are included. Transportation is the second largest source of emissions in Canada, and the largest in many provinces. Pollution Probe is pleased to see that accelerating the deployment of zero-emissions vehicles and the associated infrastructure is given the highest priority, with such substantial investments in EV incentives and new charging stations across Canada. Pollution Probe has a long track record of promoting ZEVs in Canada, and we recently celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our first EV program. ZEVs are practical, affordable and a cleaner alternative, and it is commendable that the Government has continued to recognize the critical role they can play in clean transportation. Pollution Probe also salutes the impressive commitments to increasing the decarbonisation of other transportation sectors including aviation, marine, rail and trucking which are significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, the energy you don’t use is the cheapest and cleanest. It is good that energy efficiency is recognised as a priority by the Government. While more needs to be done, this plan contains initial steps towards a more efficient future for the buildings we have now, most of which we will still have in 2050. This will allow all Canadians to save on their energy bills and to reduce their emissions.
Canada has long been home to energy innovation, from CANDU to batteries. By promoting clean innovation, Canada can benefit from the jobs and the employment possibilities. In addition, it is good that low-carbon fuels including hydrogen are included as Canada will need all low-carbon possibilities to help reach its targets.
Pollution Probe is pleased to note the Government of Canada’s continued commitment to taking a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing issues associated with waste and plastic pollution. Significant investments aimed at advancing research and science, piloting technology and innovation, and supporting community action on-the-ground are all critical components of an overall strategy for successfully reducing the amount of plastic entering the environment and addressing that which has already made its way there.
The past several years have seen increasing public concern over single-use plastics, and it is encouraging that the Government of Canada has been consulting on proposed next steps for a framework for managing their use and increasing Canada’s ability to recycle and recover plastics. The waste management landscape continues to evolve rapidly and a focus on continuous improvement and transparency on targets, actions and progress should be a key objective to ensure the effectiveness of these important efforts moving forward.
This plan is just the start of a long process. While long-term planning is key, we will also need near and medium term actions to meet our targets. Pollution Probe is pleased to see that the government recognises the need to work with all partners, especially Indigenous peoples, in moving to a net-zero Canada. As likely the strongest climate plan produced, implementation will be difficult and collaboration will be crucial for it to be successful. Pollution Probe looks forward to working the Government of Canada and others to ensure that the benefits of a sustainable future are accessible to all.
Research and Communications Co-ordinator,