In the national capital region, the NCC is an important land manager and an important actor with powers that really have an almost municipal aspect. The requirement that the NCC develop sustainable development strategies is of great importance to the people of the national capital region, including the constituents who I represent in Pontiac.
There was a letter sent to this committee by an entity that represents citizens' associations from this region, and they expressed concern that there be certainty that the provisions of this reformed Federal Sustainable Development Act be applicable to the NCC. I support the notion that the NCC be subject to the provisions wholeheartedly.
Through order in council, I know there is a mechanism for federal agencies and crown corporations to be brought under the umbrella of this statute. I wanted to demonstrate my support for the application of the Federal Sustainable Development Act to the NCC. However, pursuant to discussions with colleagues here and with colleagues in the government, it's my understanding that it is quite possible, indeed probable, that within days of the coming into force of this new legislation, a new order in council will be passed, and the NCC will be made subject to this newly reformed law.
Instead of going through a more cumbersome route of incorporating the NCC as a distinct entity, in light of their importance as an actor and as a manager of environmental public goods in our region, I think it's best that I withdraw the motion and just let that order in council process take place, as is expected.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Good morning. We're very pleased to be here today. I'm pleased to be here on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Canada and to be discussing the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework. I'm Matt Jones from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
I understand you're interested in receiving an overview of the status of implementation of the framework. We're happy to provide that. We've provided the committee with a written status report that has been recently released publicly.
I'll begin with a quick overview of the pan-Canadian framework, and I'll be followed by one of my colleagues from the Ministry of Natural Resources, who will provide an update on clean technology programming.
Addressing climate change and supporting clean growth is, as you know, a high-priority issue for the Government of Canada and subnational governments across the country. Through the Vancouver declaration, first ministers agreed to meet or exceed Canada's 2030 targets and to increase that level of ambition over time to drive greater emission reductions and develop a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
For the first time, there was agreement across all provincial and territorial governments on an emission reduction target and a commitment to work together to meet that target. First ministers released the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, Canada's plan for implementing its commitments under the Paris Agreement, on December 9, 2016, a year ago last Saturday.
The pan-Canadian framework, as I believe members are aware, has four main pillars: pricing carbon pollution; complimentary actions to further reduce emissions across the economy, including in agriculture and forestry; measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change and build resilience to those impacts; as well as actions to accelerate innovation and support the uptake of clean technology and create jobs.
The Government of Canada is also making major investments in clean growth and climate change to support the implementation of the framework. The government is investing $2.2 billion to support clean technology and innovation, and over $21 billion in green infrastructure, including a $2-billion disaster mitigation and adaptation fund. We've also launched the low-carbon economy leadership fund. Eligible sectors include agriculture, forestry, industry, and residential and commercial buildings.
Turning to carbon pricing, this is a foundational element of the pan-Canadian framework because it provides incentives to reduce emissions while encouraging innovation and sending long-term signals to investors and consumers in order to transform the economy over time. In October 2016 the government published the pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution. This document outlines the government's intention to have carbon pricing in place throughout Canada in 2018.
Recognizing that Canada's four largest provinces, representing about 80% of our population, already had pricing systems in place, it gives all provinces and territories the flexibility to implement the pricing system of their choice, either a direct price system such as B.C. or Alberta's hybrid mix of carbon tax on fuels plus emissions trading systems for large industry, or cap-and-trade systems such as those adopted in Ontario and Quebec. We refer to this document as the federal pricing benchmark.
Over the past year we have worked with each province and territory that does not already have a pricing system, to help them understand the requirements and assess options. We have undertaken extensive economic modelling on behalf of many provinces and territories, and in some cases have joined provincial and territorial officials in public consultations and information sessions. With the release of climate strategies by Manitoba and Saskatchewan over the last few weeks, every province has issued statements supporting some form of carbon pricing.
We have also worked closely with each of the territories to undertake the analysis committed to in the pan-Canadian framework, to assess the possible impacts of carbon pricing, and to help them identify solutions that account for their special circumstances. The government has also committed to implementing a federal pricing system, which will apply in any province or territory that asks for it and in any jurisdiction that does not implement a carbon pricing system that is aligned with the benchmark. We refer to this federal pricing system as the backstop.
In May of this year we released a document that describes the proposed design of the federal backstop pricing system. It will be quite similar to the system Alberta plans to adopt next year, combining a carbon levy on fuel that will be paid by distributors and importers, with an emissions trading system for large emitters. The latter will be designed to create an incentive for emissions reduction and innovation from exposure to a carbon price, while reducing the total price paid so as to avoid adverse impacts on competitiveness and the risk of carbon leakage.
Under the pan-Canadian framework, federal, provincial, and territorial governments committed to continue making meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all regions and sectors of the economy. The approach complements carbon pricing by expanding and linking clean electricity systems across the country; improving energy efficiency of vehicles, buildings, and industry; putting more zero-emission vehicles on the road; using cleaner fuels to power the economy; reducing reliance on diesel in remote communities; and reducing emissions and increasing carbon storage in the agricultural, forestry, and waste sectors. These actions will help cut emissions, and will also help drive clean growth by spurring development of new clean technologies and creating jobs in many sectors.
In the first year of implementation, significant progress has been made to advance measures across all sectors. Regulations are being designed, drafted, and consulted on. New programs are being established. Many of these processes can take years to complete, but due to focused action and collaboration, this work is being moved forward on accelerated timelines.
Collaborations across jurisdictions have been very strong, with governments working together to coordinate actions to ensure long-term success. Responsibility for reporting on progress is shared across a number of federal and provincial ministerial tables. For example, ministers of the environment are overseeing progress on key regulatory measures. Transportation ministers have been overseeing work on important measures to help the transition of Canada's transportation systems toward a low-carbon future, in collaboration with energy and innovation ministers. Forestry ministers and ministers of agriculture have also been overseeing mitigation actions in those sectors.
Turning quickly to adaptation, in the pan-Canadian framework the federal, provincial, and territorial governments identified five priority areas for collaboration to build resilience to a changing climate across the country. These priorities are ensuring that Canadians have information and expertise to consider climate change in their planning and decision-making; building climate resilience through infrastructure; working to protect the health and well-being of Canadians; supporting, particularly the vulnerable regions and indigenous communities to address climate impacts; and reducing the risk to communities from climate-related hazards and disasters.
This first year of implementation of the pan-Canadian framework provided a solid foundation for this work, including the announcement of significant investments in adaptation and climate resilience. These actions range from measures to improve access to climate science and information that supports adaptation decision-making, to investments in built and natural infrastructure to increase climate resilience in communities, to efforts to help better understand and take action to address climate-related health risks such as extreme heat and infectious diseases.
For example, to ensure that Canadians have the information and expertise they need to consider climate change impacts and adaptation solutions and decision-making, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments are working in partnership, through the design and launch of the new Canadian centre for climate services. In addition to work under the framework, governments have also been working collaboratively on adaptation. They continue to do so through the various working groups under the adaptation platform, and through a concerted program of work and regular meetings under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and other fora.
In the pan-Canadian framework, first ministers directed federal, provincial, and territorial governments to report annually to Canadians and to first ministers on the progress achieved. We are pleased to have published this report on Saturday, December 9, the one-year anniversary of the first ministers meeting that launched the pan-Canadian framework. It summarizes in some detail the progress that has been made on all of the initiatives within the pan-Canadian framework, as well as additional measures pursued by provincial and territorial governments.
Making progress on climate change will require significant sustained action now and over the long term. Environment and Climate Change Canada has committed to continue to work closely with other government departments, provinces, and territories, indigenous peoples, municipalities, and other sectors of the economy.
Thank you for your time. I will turn to my colleagues from NRCan for their statements on clean technology and clean growth.
Sure. Thank you very much.
It's a pleasure to be here on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources. Frank DesRosiers will join us shortly. He apparently is held up in traffic, so I will present the deck. Some of this is in Frank's area more than mine, but I'm happy to at least present. Then we can move forward on questions.
I believe the deck has been distributed. Its purpose is to do three things: illustrate the role of clean technology in Canada's economy and in support of the pan-Canadian framework; provide an update on the implementation of clean technology measures announced in budget 2017; and discuss the Department of Natural Resources' role in developing national building codes.
I'll turn to page 3 in the presentation. Natural Resources Canada leads or supports 30 of the over 50 initiatives in the pan-Canadian framework, so we have a fairly significant role to play in its implementation and success. We lead on initiatives that span key areas, including mitigation, which is clean electricity, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and forestry; clean technology and innovation; and adaptation.
On page 4, the vision here is to support clean technology and innovation that positions Canada to compete as a global leader as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. Clean technologies can enable the sustainable development of Canada's resource sectors and generate exports, creating new markets for Canadian businesses. We know that the clean technology market is growing rapidly. Currently within Canada, approximately 850 clean technology firms sustain over 55,000 direct jobs. In 2015, estimated revenues were in the range of $13 billion, of which $6.7 billion were from exports.
Canadians will benefit from our investment in clean technology and innovation in a number of ways. I'll give two examples. One is the building sector, where we're looking to reduce cost to homeowners and building owners. Consumers can also benefit by living in homes that offer greater comfort, durability, air quality, and resale value. Canadians will also have access to more energy-efficient, affordable, lighter, and safer vehicles, and can optimize the efficiency of their vehicle and reduce fuel consumption, in this way saving money.
I think page 5 speaks for itself. It lays out a number of the investments the government is making in this area. I won't go through that.
The next few slides give an overview of what we're doing on mitigation. On this slide the focus is clean electricity. Natural Resources Canada has the energy innovation program fund, which is an early-stage research and development fund that funds programs across the energy sector. As one example, funds are provided to the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia to help them address knowledge and technology gaps related to marine renewables, such as tidal energy. So far, the program has allocated $9.5 million to increase penetration of renewables and $4.1 million for northern clean energy.
NRCan is also funding commercial-scale demonstration and deployment of clean technology through national programs under the green infrastructure component of the investing in Canada plan. Clean electricity national programs include money to advance smart grid and storage technologies, funds for emerging renewables not yet in Canada, and, as Matt mentioned, funding to reduce reliance on diesel in remote and rural communities. These programs are expected to be formally launched in early 2018, but some steps have already been taken to ensure prompt program delivery, including a preliminary call for proposals.
Page 7 gives an overview of what we're doing to mitigate in the transportation area. This includes early-stage R and D in targeting advances for lighter materials for more fuel-efficient vehicles and lower-cost batteries for more affordable electric vehicles, and addressing barriers to low-carbon fuels such as biofuels. The vehicle-focused R and D is complemented by $182 million in investments to demonstrate and deploy low-carbon infrastructure, including for electric vehicle charging stations. The Government of Canada is working very closely with provinces and territories and with industry and other key stakeholders on the development of a Canada-wide zero-emission vehicle strategy, which we expect to be finalized in 2018.
On page 8 is an overview of the mitigation we're focused on for industry. NRCan programs are focused on driving the transition to an industry sector that utilizes clean electricity and low-carbon fuels in more efficient processes. I'm going to focus on the energy efficiency components of this. Under the pan-Canadian framework's industry strategy, we have a suite of voluntary programs that industry can access, including energy star for industry and ISO 50001 certification, which can enhance energy efficiency in 21 industrial sectors across Canada.
The industry strategy reflects government's commitments to accelerate the uptake of industrial energy management systems that improve energy efficiency and industrial competitiveness, which can save industry money. Some of these instruments include the energy star for industry program launched in August 2017, which will allow Canadian companies to compare their energy performance with North American competitors, and support for certification under the international ISO 50001 energy management standard.
Page 9 focuses on the built environment and mitigation measures there. I understand there was an interest from the committee in building codes. I would just note that our context in Canada is quite unique because we have five climate zones, so this affects the way we approach building codes. We try to take a flexible approach, which is one of the principles underlined in the pan-Canadian framework, in terms of putting in place a model building code that provinces and territories can then adopt. We're taking a tiered approach to develop net-zero energy-ready codes for new buildings and homes, with the goal being that provincial and territorial governments would adopt these codes by 2030. We're working very closely with provincial and territorial governments, as well as industry partners, in the code development process. This approach will also provide clear signals to the market, for equipment and material manufacturers, as well as provide time for builders and inspectors to develop the skills and knowledge needed to deliver on these new standards, which would be, obviously, highly stringent.
We're also investing in tools and training to help the building industry get ready. This is the reason the target date of 2030 was set. It provides time for a gradual transition to net-zero energy-ready code for new buildings, including adoption of new construction practices and greater availability of high-performance equipment, which will lead to decreased costs in putting these buildings in place.
We're already working with the construction industry through research, development, and demonstration projects to lower the cost of building to higher standards and undertaking energy retrofits in buildings.
On page 10, we highlight briefly clean growth in the natural resource sectors. We're investing $155 million over four years to support clean technology RD and D, research, development, and demonstration, across the mining, forestry, and energy sectors. This program is the first of its kind to promote and require collaboration with provinces and territories. There is science and technology assistance for clean tech through industry-led projects that can access specialized expertise and equipment at federal laboratories. This is expected to be well received by small and medium-sized enterprises, which characterize our clean technology sector in Canada but often lack the capital required for advanced research and development facilities.
On November 20 of this year, the clean growth in the natural resource sector program was launched and information has started to flow on this, including through two webinars attended by more than 1,000 participants. The government expects to select projects for this in the summer of 2018.
Finally, on page 11, we highlight briefly where we're trying to lead and support cost-cutting measures to enhance our clean technology ecosystem. One of these is the work we do with the Privy Council Office to deliver the clean technology stream of the impact Canada initiative, which was announced in budget 2017. It's focused on coming up with innovative policy mechanisms by targeting priority barriers and setting specific outcomes. These outcomes would be identified and defined through co-creation with stakeholders to drive clean technology breakthroughs.
I'll touch briefly on our greening government operations. The government has also committed to leading by example by reducing its own emissions in buildings and fleets. Last year, the President of the Treasury Board announced that the government would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, or earlier, using 2005 as the baseline year.
Natural Resources Canada's office deals with energy efficiency, and through our laboratories has technical expertise which, in conjunction with the National Research Council and Public Services and Procurement Canada, will support our federal partners to reduce their emissions through internal operations. We're looking at 89% for buildings and 11% for fleets.
I'm going to leave it there. Thank you very much for your time.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you to all of our witnesses.
There are so many questions we have that we'll never get through.
Anyway, welcome, Mr. DesRosiers. By the way, Ms. Henry has been doing a very good job. I hope you haven't been rendered superfluous.
The first item is just some housekeeping.
Back on October 31, 2017, Ms. Amanda Wilson was here. We expressly requested from her a copy of the analysis that was done on the negative economic impacts of a national carbon tax on the forest products sector and more broadly, perhaps, on other sectors. I understand, at least from national media reports, that work has been done within Natural Resources to assess what the impact will be on the forestry sector. She was unable to provide us with that information, but when I asked her if she could provide us with that, she said, “Absolutely.” That was back on October 31, and we have not seen or heard anything.
Can I get your commitment that Natural Resources will get us that information that was promised at that last meeting?
I'm responsible for the development of the clean fuel standard, and no, we haven't promulgated the standard yet. I'll briefly tell you what we have done.
The minister has made a commitment about the overall objectives of the clean fuel standard. It will apply to all fuels—liquid, gaseous, and solid—and it will be designed in a way that ramps up the stringency over time to achieve 30 megatonnes in production annually by 2030, so not immediately, but getting to that point.
We issued some discussion papers and held a pretty significant set of consultations throughout the course of 2017. We anticipate publishing a framework document very shortly. It will be available for Christmas stockings, I expect, so very soon, in a matter of days. It will lay out the details of what we propose. Then we plan to have technical discussions throughout the first part of 2018 to lead to a draft regulation by the middle of 2018.
At this point, the economic analysis we've done is at a very rough level because we have not sorted out precisely what the requirements will be, when they will start, what the trajectory will be, nor have we sorted out what all the compliance options will be. That's what we want to consult with the ministry on, what the range of compliance options should be, and how to enable the economy to make this transition to lower carbon intensity fuels in the most economically efficient manner possible.
Well, the federal complementary regulations are the two electricity regulations that I just referred to, and those are essentially finalized. We plan to publish those in a matter of weeks or, at most, a month or two.
We plan to publish the methane regulations in late winter. Again, those have largely been finalized and are going through an approval process. We have some regulations regulating HFCs from products. I don't have all the details on those, but again, those are fairly well advanced.
The two additional major federal regulations that we're working on are the clean fuel standard—and those are, of course, at a fairly early stage of development where we will be issuing a regulatory framework document, a broad description of the approach, in a matter of days—and the federal backstop carbon pricing system. I suspect you know that has two components: one is a levy, and the other is a regulatory regime for large emitters. We've been working on the development of those regulations, and those regulations will apply to all large emitters in any backstop jurisdiction. We plan to publish a regulatory framework document early in the new year, and we'll be looking for input on those regulations through the course of the winter of 2018.
There's another suite of regulations that are new but that are being updated. Those are all the vehicle and engine regulations. We have work under way on updating the light-duty regulations, paying close attention to what's happening in the United States at the federal level, but also at the state level. That's a really interesting dynamic that we have to pay attention to.
We also have a commitment to introduce heavy-duty vehicle regulations, so tailpipe emission regulations for heavy-duty vehicles. Those are a little farther into the future. The analytical work is under way, but again, we have to pay close attention to what's happening south of the border.
Mr. Chair and committee members, we share an interest around diversifying revenue sources for the forestry sector, both in terms of geography and products. Bioenergy in particular seems to be one of the most promising areas. We're also looking at tall wood structures and other opportunities like this.
In the bioenergy space, we've had a number of very successful projects, looking at waste products in particular, whether they're wood chips or bark that is currently left in the forest without any use. We've been working both on the R and D and administration projects to try to troubleshoot those technologies, so that they can be scaled up to full commercial activities.
I don't have the exhaustive list of projects, whether under IFIT or other projects like the one we're describing, but I would draw the interest of committee members to the clean growth program we just announced three weeks ago. It's a $155-million program that is targeting energy, forestry, and mining. Bioenergy would be very much in this scope.
In the context of this program, we've had discussions with provinces that share our interest in advancing bioenergy solutions. Quebec, Ontario, B.C., and Alberta have project proposals that are slated to be sent our way by early February, so we'll be able to then analyze those. We hope to be able to leverage each other's resources to advance on those projects. The timing could frankly not be better to advance it, given, as you know, the trade dynamic with the U.S.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you to the witnesses for being here this morning.
I have heard some very positive things and other things that I am inclined to question. I will give the benefit of the doubt.
Ms. Henry, Mr. DesRosiers was supposed to give the presentation, but unfortunately the traffic and the snowstorm changed the plans this morning. Regardless, your presentation contains the following statement: “Canada's vision is to balance economic growth with environmental protection”.
I will use this premise to talk to you about a very specific case in my riding. There is a company that manufactures pipes in the city of Portneuf, in the beautiful riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier. Unfortunately, this company manufactures pipes that contain asbestos. I understand that we have to make changes and adopt clean technologies, but we still have to respect economic development.
I used Ms. Henry's premise, but my question will probably be for one of the representatives of the Department of the Environment.
This company has been doing research and development for a year and a half to find an alternative. It is full of good intentions. It has found its product and is ready to make the change. However, it must be understood that the problem in this line of business is certification and the time to obtain it.
We say we want to promote economic development while improving the environmental impact. That said, a law that will come into force on January 1, 2018, will force this company to cease operation, given that the prototype of its product is not accepted or certified because of acceptance timeline for the building.
I contacted the Department of the Environment to request a waiver. So, I'm taking the opportunity this morning to illustrate a very particular situation. In fact, this company is not the only one in Canada experiencing this problem. We're talking about asbestos here, but it could be other new technologies that companies would have to comply with, which is perfectly legitimate. Nobody is acting in bad faith, in this case. However, 20 jobs will be lost in Portneuf at a very successful business in my riding.
My question is for Mr. Jones.
Could you please tell me how you manage this type of situation? You understand that no one has ill intentions. But we're facing a very particular situation. I think we have to very actively find solutions.
I apologize, but it's easier.
On the specific example, we are aware of the plant and the potential implications for the plant that will flow from the regulations that we are developing to deal with asbestos. We are in discussions with the plant and I do not think those discussions have concluded, so they remain under way. If you want more detail, I can get it to you. I don't have anymore detail, but I'm aware of the discussions.
More generally though, the point is that regulations always affect businesses and they can impose costs on businesses. One of the reasons that we take a long time to consult on the development of regulations is to make sure that we understand those implications and that we manage those implications to the extent possible, while recognizing that in some cases, in order to achieve an environmental outcome, certain timelines have to be imposed.
More generally, the overall design philosophy for environmental regulations at Environment and Climate Change Canada is to impose performance standards. What is the outcome that we're looking for? We'll tell you the outcome and we'll tell you the timeline. We won't tell you how to achieve it. Generally, that's the approach that we take across all of our regulations, including climate change regulations. The specific example you talk about is a very different one, where of course, there is concern about the use and potential entry into the environment of a toxic chemical. Therefore, we need to ensure that substance is not used in a way that it can enter into the environment. We are in discussion with the facility to determine whether there's any way to achieve that goal of zero entry of asbestos into the environment, which can lead to all sorts of health problems, while allowing the enterprise to continue to operate.