I would like to begin by stating that my home is on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation, and that this land has contributed to my privilege.
I want to thank those who are working to protect and care for us during this pandemic.
Distinguished members of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, thank you for this opportunity to participate in the committee's work.
As people who believe in the importance of government and public policy, we are compelled to think about how we can build back better after this pandemic.
My name is Céline Bak, and I am president of Analytica Advisors. I work as a global management consultant on ESG projects for large and small companies, and as an expert in sustainable finance policy.
Achieving a 45% reduction in Canada's greenhouse gas, GHG, emissions by 2030 is an important part of building back better. We must also ensure that we take care of the young and the old, and enable everyone to contribute fully to our society.
In regard to innovation, science and technology, the Government of Canada's recent budget signalled its intent to build an equitable society that works within the planet's boundaries, that is to say, an intent to build back better. This committee is undertaking its work at a time when an important consensus is forming and policies are coming together on how to build back better.
I will speak of three threads: one in Canada, one in the European Union and one in the U.S.
The first thread, from Canada, is that clean technology was one of nine economic sectors analyzed as part of innovation, science and technology's Industry Strategy Council . The council's report, “Restart, recover and reimagine prosperity for all Canadians”, was published in December 2020.
One of the council's recommendations called for an industrial strategy that included deployment of made-in-Canada clean technology within each of these four pillars: first, become a digital and data-driven economy; second, be the ESG world leader in resources, clean energy and clean technology; third, build an innovative and high-value manufacturing sector where we can lead globally; and fourth, leverage Canada's agri-food advantage to feed the planet.
These are important conclusions, which I recommend for the committee's consideration.
The second thread, from the European Union, is its industrial strategy, which overlaps with the council's recommendations and signals a strong consensus on the opportunity for zero-carbon and digital industries. In fact, half of Europe's 673-billion euro recovery and resilience fund, to be invested before 2024, is directed at stimulating private sector investment. If adjusted to Canada's GDP, this stimulus would be equal to $13 billion in annual public stimulus over the period 2021 to 2023, about $3 billion a year more than what was recommended in the building back better Canada plan published last summer.
I recommend that the committee consider that to be awarded EU recovery and resilience funds, private sector proponents must propose projects that meet the following criteria: first, ensure a three- or four-to-one leverage of private sector investment to public sector stimulus; second, advance the EU's goal of a 55% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030; and third, for projects led by large firms, engage as partners, at least four SMEs, to ensure that companies that are scaling up have access to large and growing markets and can participate in high-growth digital and zero-carbon industries.
In Canada, we have many firms that are ready to deliver fully commercial, sustainable products. We invested in them many years ago through globally leading technology organizations, such as GreenCentre Canada, Emissions Reduction Alberta and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
For example, since 2009, ERA has committed $646 million to 204 projects worth over $4.5 billion to support the development and adoption of technologies to reduce emissions.
We can expect the same from our neighbours to the south, which is the third thread in the consensus that I wanted to speak to today.
In the U.S., I suggest that the committee keep a clean eye on the clean future act, the act which directs each federal agency to develop a plan, using existing authorities, to achieve the U.S.'s national climate goals in combination with all other agencies. It creates a process for public review, as well as review by the EPA, before each federal agency submits its plan to Congress and begins implementation. It further requires each agency to review its plan at least every two years and to submit an annual report to Congress.
If Canada took the same approach, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology would be asking the Minister to present the department's plan to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 in his areas of jurisdiction. In addition to the Net Zero Accelerator fund announcements, the Minister's plan would include a report on emissions from all industries under his jurisdiction, including the automotive, aerospace, rail, pharmaceutical, defence and telecommunications sectors.
Thank you for your attention.