Original language of petition: English
Petition to the Government of Canada
We, the undersigned Citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:
Climate change has escalated into a global climate emergency;
The world is on pace to warm nearly 4 degrees Celsius by 2100 and extreme weather events are growing with increasingly severe impacts, including floods, forest fires, rising temperatures, killer heat-waves, massive storms, sea level rise and disruption to marine and land ecosystems;
In order to act to avert further catastrophic climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) states that the scientific consensus is that we need to immediately move to reduce net human-caused greenhouse gas emissions to 45 per cent below 2010 levels by 2030 and net-zero by 2050;
Canada must address this climatic emergency with the ambition and urgency required, on behalf of present and future generations;
Canadians are living through unprecedented, catastrophic climate events and at the same time, our society is suffering from worsening socio-economic inequalities, with almost half of Canada's population reporting they are $200 away from insolvency at the end of each month;
Climate change impacts threaten physical & mental health (particularly young people, the elderly and persons with disabilities), surrounding environments by affecting the food we eat, the world's water supply, the air we breathe, the weather we experience, and how well local communities can adapt to climate change;
The impacts of climate emergency are far more severe for those living through the immediate consequences of climate change;
Indigenous Peoples, frontline and vulnerable communities, like people seeking refugee status or asylum and those displaced by climate change, are disproportionality affected, resulting in the increased risks to their health;
It has never been more urgent that Canada reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy to meet the scale and urgency of the climate crisis, while ensuring that all Indigenous peoples and Canadians benefit from the substantial public investments a low-carbon economy requires, like energy efficiency retrofits, affordable housing, renewable energy, infrastructure, public transit, pharmacare, dental care, childcare and eliminating student debt and tuition fees; and
Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and the recognition of inherent rights, title and treaty rights, while fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), must be at the heart of Canada's approach to addressing the climate emergency.
THEREFORE, your petitioners call on the Government of Canada to support Motion M-1, a made-in-Canada Green New Deal, the first initiative before the House of Commons, which calls on Canada to take bold & rapid action to adopt socially equitable climate action to tackle the climate emergency and address worsening socio-economic & racial inequalities at the same time; while ending fossil fuel subsidies, closing offshore tax havens, and supporting workers impacted by the transition and creating well-paying, unionized jobs in the shift to a clean and renewable energy economy.
Government response tabled
Response by the Minister of Natural Resources
Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): THE HONOURABLE JONATHAN WILKINSON, P.C., M.P.
The Government of Canada is investing to build a prosperous low-carbon economy in line with Canada’s ambitious emissions reductions targets. This includes taking a whole-of-government approach to seizing the generational economic opportunities that a net zero emissions future represents – by making investments in renewable energy and clean technology as well as decarbonisation technology in the conventional energy sector.
Budget 2023 makes transformative investments to build Canada’s clean economy, fight climate change, and create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and Canadian workers. This includes significant measures that will deliver cleaner and more affordable energy, support investment in our communities and the creation of good-paying, high-quality jobs, and ensure Canadian workers are able to produce and provide the goods and resources that Canadians and our allies need. These investments are underpinned by a set of clear and predictable investment tax credits, low-cost strategic financing, and targeted investments and programming, where necessary, to respond to the unique needs of sectors or projects of national economic significance. Since 2016, the federal government has committed over $120 billion to clean growth and emissions reduction measures, including over $80 billion in recently announced investment tax credits.
Canada also joined other countries at COP26 in committing to end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022. On December 8, 2022, the Government announced the implementation of this commitment with the release of the policy guidelines that lay the foundation for federal departments and agencies to put in place the measures set out in this commitment. By ending new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector, Canada will ensure its investments abroad are aligned with its domestic and international climate goals, which means investing in clean energy and renewables.
In addition, Canada committed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and recently accelerated the timeline to do so this year. To date, Canada has phased out or rationalized nine tax preferences supporting the fossil fuel sector and has committed to take part in a peer review of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies under the G20 process.
The Government also announced that it will cap and cut emissions from the oil and gas sector in line with Canada’s climate targets. This commitment was reiterated in Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan and reaffirmed at COP27. As a result, companies are actively investing in the development and deployment of emissions-reduction technologies, such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), hydrogen and electrification. These efforts will help lead to a cleaner energy future.
With a highly skilled and educated workforce, and with the abundant natural resources and energy sources critical for a net-zero future, Canada is uniquely positioned to benefit from a low-carbon economy. The Government is committed to moving forward with comprehensive action required to support Canadian workers and communities as they meet the challenges and realize the opportunities of a net-zero emissions future. The interim Sustainable Jobs Plan, released in February 2023, lays out a comprehensive approach as part of Canada’s broader economic plan for clean growth.
This plan, drafted in consultation with provinces, territories, union and labour organizations, Indigenous partners, industry, and civil society, describes the Government’s current and planned action to support the creation of good, well-paying jobs for Canadians. These opportunities exist in every region of the country and every sector of the economy. From critical minerals to hydrogen, electric cars and buses, batteries, renewable energy, low-carbon building products, carbon capture, utilization and storage, and small modular reactors, Canada has a major opportunity to build a net-zero future that works for everyone. There are also significant opportunities for sustainable jobs in conventional energy industries that are working to lower their emissions in line with Canada’s climate policy, enabling producers to be low-emissions suppliers of products to a world in transition.
Furthermore, as committed to in the interim Sustainable Jobs Plan released in early 2023, the Government introduced Bill C-50, the Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act, in June 2023, which will establish a federal governance, engagement, and accountability framework to advance economic prosperity and ensure workers benefit from the opportunities presented by a low-carbon economy. The bill will require the Government to establish a Sustainable Jobs Partnership Council to provide independent advice to Government on sustainable jobs measures; to create a Secretariat to lead the Government’s sustainable jobs approach; and to release a Sustainable Jobs Action Plan every five years beginning in 2025. These mechanisms will guide and organize efforts to support workers and communities as Canada shifts to a net-zero economy, ensuring equitable, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth across the country.
The Regional Energy and Resource Tables are a key initiative to drive this work. The Regional Tables were created to accelerate Canada’s economic growth opportunities by taking into account each region’s unique advantages and ability to meet the demands of new and emerging markets. These regional processes are being undertaken in partnership with individual provincial and territorial governments, and through engagement with Indigenous partners, as well as experts, labour organizations, industry, and other stakeholders. The Regional Tables will form the basis for comprehensive and transformative place-based economic strategies for every region of Canada so that each can realize its comparative advantages in a net-zero emissions economy. The federal government has jointly launched nine such Regional Tables already, with British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Recognizing the importance of helping Canadians access job training for the net-zero future, the Government has also made historic investments in skills programming, including for sustainable jobs. This includes $1.5 billion in new investments that will deliver almost 500,000 new training and work opportunities for Canadians, which will help workers transition to and take advantage of new opportunities, including in clean energy. Furthermore, the Fall Economic Statement announced funding to create a Sustainable Jobs Secretariat, establish a new sustainable jobs stream under the Union Training and Innovation Program, and launch a new Sustainable Jobs Training Centre.
Canada has what it takes to be a clean energy and technology supplier of choice in a low-carbon world; the Government remains committed to realizing that potential.
Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable STEVEN GUILBEAULT
The science is clear that accelerated efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rapidly by 2030, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The economics are clear too – to build a strong, resilient economy for generations to come we must harness the power of a cleaner future.
Over the past seven years, the Government of Canada has taken action and committed to invest over $120 billion to reduce emissions, protect the environment, spur clean technologies and innovation, and help Canadians and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. In 2016, the Government of Canada developed the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in collaboration with provinces and territories, and with input from Indigenous peoples. Building on this national effort, the Government of Canada released its Strengthened Climate Plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy in December 2020 to deepen emissions reductions across the economy, create new, well-paying jobs, make life more affordable for households, and build a better future.
In 2021, the Government of Canada committed to achieving an enhanced 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40-45 per cent below 2005 levels under the Paris Agreement and adopted legislation to enshrine this Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), as well as the commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 in law. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (the Act) provides a durable framework of accountability and transparency to deliver on this commitment. The Act requires the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to set subsequent targets for 2035, 2040, and 2045, at least 10 years in advance. The Actalso holds the federal government accountable as it charts Canada’s path to achieve net-zero emissions by establishing a transparent process to plan, assess, and adjust the federal government’s efforts to achieve our national targets, based on the best scientific information available.
As an early deliverable under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, Canada published the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) in 2022. The plan lays out the next steps to reaching Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target as a concrete milestone that improves transparency and accountability on the way to net-zero. The 2030 ERP includes a suite of new mitigation measures and strategies, $9.1 billion in new investments, and builds on the foundation set by Canada’s existing climate actions. The plan also reflects input from thousands of Canadians, businesses, and communities, as well as submissions from Indigenous partners, provinces, territories and the Net-Zero Advisory Body.
Achieving Canada’s climate objectives demands that all sectors of the economy continue to decarbonize in a manner that makes cleaner alternatives more affordable and creates new sustainable job opportunities for workers. That’s why the 2030 ERP provides a road map that goes sector-by-sector to identify climate action and strategies. For example, the Government is:
- Helping to reduce energy costs for homes and buildings, while driving down emissions to net-zero by 2040 and boosting climate resiliency through the development of the $150 million Canada Green Buildings Strategy and an additional investment of $458.5 million in the Canada Greener Homes Loans program;
- Empowering communities to take climate action by expanding the Low Carbon Economy Fund through a $2.2 billion recapitalization, which will include a new $180-million Indigenous Leadership Fund to support emissions reductions projects led by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and organizations;
- Driving progress on clean cars and trucks through investments of $400 million for zero-emission vehicles charging and refueling infrastructure, $1.7 billion to extend the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) program to make it more affordable for Canadians to buy and drive new electric light-duty vehicles, and introducing a purchase incentive program of $547.5 million for medium-and heavy-duty vehicles;
- Positioning the oil and gas sector to cut pollution by working with stakeholders to implement the cap on oil and gas sector emissions;
- Powering the economy with renewable electricity by continuing to advance the Clean Electricity Standard to enable Canada to achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035, and providing $600 million to the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program for additional renewable electricity and grid modernization projects, and $250 million to support predevelopment work of large clean electricity projects;
- Helping industries to adopt clean technology in their journey to net-zero emissions by committing to develop a carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) strategy, and establishing an investment tax credit of up to 30 per cent focused on net-zero technologies;
- Driving further clean technology innovation through a $1 billion investment to create an independent federal innovation and investment agency;
- Developing of a whole-of-government strategy to strengthen policy coherence and coordination on clean technology and climate innovation;
- Investing in nature and natural climate solutions by investing an additional $780 million to the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund to support projects that conserve, restore and enhance wetlands, peatlands, and grasslands to store and capture carbon; and,
- Supporting farmers as partners in building a clean, prosperous future through investments in new programs such as the $150 million resilient agricultural landscapes program, and by topping up the Agricultural Climate Solutions: On-Farm Climate Action Fund with $470 million to support key climate mitigation practices and providing $300 million to triple funding for the Agricultural Clean Technology Program.
The 2030 ERP is expected to benefit diverse groups of people in Canada by helping to alleviate the negative impacts of climate change and strengthen Canada’s ability to meet net-zero emissions by 2050. The plan also includes several measures designed to directly benefit communities affected by climate change, and those seeking to reduce the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, including those who live in remote and rural communities.
The 2030 ERP is designed to be evergreen—a comprehensive roadmap that reflects levels of ambition to guide emissions reduction efforts in each sector. As governments, businesses, non-profits and communities across the country work together to meet Canada’s climate objectives, we will identify, catalyze and respond to new opportunities. In addition, progress under the plan will be reviewed in progress reports produced in 2023, 2025, and 2027. Additional targets and plans will be developed for 2035 through to 2050.
These commitments aim to increase Canada’s ambition and to reduce the intensity and frequency of climate change-related impacts on the environment such as higher temperatures, variable precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, severe floods, wildfires, drought, and other extreme weather events. However, as the country faces increasing record-breaking climate events year after year, on top of slow onset climate impacts, the Government of Canada recognizes that a more ambitious, strategic and collaborative approach is required to also adapt and build resilience.
To that end, the Government of Canada developed its first National Adaptation Strategy. The Strategy is the product of two years of engagement with provinces and territories, Indigenous partners, key experts, stakeholders and partners across Canada. It presents a whole-of-society approach to reducing risk and building climate-resilient communities. The Strategy lays out an agreed-upon framework to reduce the risk of climate-related disasters, improve health outcomes, protect nature and biodiversity, build and maintain resilient infrastructure, and support a strong economy and workers. It also identifies common goals, objectives, and targets to focus the efforts of governments and communities across these key areas and to help ensure future investments are targeted and effective.
Similarly, the Government of Canada’s Adaptation Action Plan (GOCAAP), released alongside the National Adaptation Strategy, outlines the federal contribution to achieving Canada’s climate change adaptation goals. The GOCAAP highlights more than 70 new and ongoing federal actions to help meet Canada’s adaptation priorities, and to address both the short-term and long-term climate change issues and risks facing Canadians.
Starting in 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $6.5 billion in adaptation, including $2 billion in commitments since fall 2022 to implement the National Adaptation Strategy and support other adaptation-related activities.
In the coming months, the federal government will work with provinces and territories to advance bilateral action plans as a key step to implementing the Strategy. Likewise, the government will work with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis on a regional and distinctions basis through the Indigenous Climate Leadership Agenda which supports self-determined Indigenous climate actions.
As the Government of Canada continues to implement the commitments set out in its plans, it is doing so in collaboration with its partners. The Government of Canada is committed to working with provinces and territories to advance shared priorities that will further lower emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including on a regional and bilateral basis. The Government of Canada fulfills this commitment by working with provinces and territories to tailor approaches and actions that are focused on climate change and green economic recovery. Collaboration with all levels of government, Indigenous peoples, experts, industry, the financial sector, stakeholders, and Canadians is a key component of the 2030 ERP and the National Adaptation Strategy.
The Government of Canada also collaborates with Indigenous partners on climate action and recognizes that Indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable populations to a rapidly changing environment. To help support Indigenous peoples advance their climate priorities and adapt to the changing climate, the Government of Canada is committed to renewed nation-to-nation, Inuit-to-Crown and Government-to-Government relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. The Government of Canada also supports without qualification the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including free, prior and informed consent. Supporting self-determined climate action is critical to advancing Canada’s reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Canada maintains strong partnerships with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners on their climate change priorities through distinctions-based senior bilateral tables on clean growth and climate change with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council. These partnerships have meant that, since the launch of the Pan-Canadian Framework in 2016, Indigenous partners have worked directly with Canada to identify ways for policies and programs to better support Indigenous peoples and their climate priorities. More than five years later, the tables continue to demonstrate the benefits of sustained collaboration. For instance, the tables were instrumental in ensuring that Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan (December 2020), the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, and Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy respond to Indigenous climate priorities.
Investments in Indigenous climate change action have been important to advancing self-determined priorities of Indigenous peoples. Since the release of the Strengthened Climate Plan, Canada has committed more than $1.3 billion in targeted investments to support Indigenous communities to transition to clean energy, advance nature-based solutions, build new or retrofit green community buildings, promote resilience of health systems, and undertake major disaster mitigation projects. These investments supplement more than $425 million over 12 years committed under the Pan-Canadian Framework, as well as funding provided to Indigenous proponents through general climate programs for which they are eligible recipients.
Most recently, in the 2030 ERP, the Government of Canada committed $29.6 million to advance discussions with Indigenous peoples to develop and implement a model of partnership for climate action that empowers self-determined climate action; leverages the transition to a net-zero economy to support efforts toward self-determination and the alleviation of socio-economic inequalities; and supports the expression of Indigenous Knowledge systems in national climate policy.
Looking forward, the transition to a cleaner future will bring new opportunities across our labour force, but also some challenges for those that will need to pivot to new jobs. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the future and livelihoods of workers and their communities as the world moves to a low carbon future. To seize these opportunities, the Government of Canada is making historic investments in skills and training to build on the agility and resilience of Canada’s workforce and ensure that it is equipped with the range of skills required to deliver on this ambition.
- Presented to the House of Commons
June 1, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01499)
- Government response tabled
- July 19, 2023
Member of Parliament
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
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