Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Louis-Hébert.
I stand today in the House to call on the House to declare that Canada is in a national climate emergency. To address that, we must not only meet our national emissions targets under the Paris Agreement, but we must go further. As I say that, I pause, because this is a real and scary truth, and fear is a difficult emotion.
When I was thinking about this debate today, I thought about when I was a teenager and saw a film called If You Love This Planet. It was about the dangers of nuclear weapons. What I felt when I saw that film was fear. Fear can be immobilizing, and that is a danger when we are talking about something like a climate emergency. We cannot be immobilized. We need to take action, and we need to take action now.
Today, as we participate in this debate, we are facing that fear and putting a direction and a course of action as to how we will respond, because our country is on a path to transition to a low-carbon economy. We are on that path and we cannot falter; in fact, we need to speed up. For me, seeing how we are proceeding with the transition to a low-carbon economy is what gives me hope and strength to know how we are going to move forward.
Today, I will outline some of the things we are doing. I do not have enough time to speak about all of the actions that are being taken, but I will be talking about the price on pollution, building retrofits, investments in public transportation and a zero-emission vehicle strategy, and phasing out coal-fired electricity. Those are all steps that are being taken right now as we transition toward a low-carbon economy.
Before we go further, I would like to address one factor that has given me reason to question, and I know that I have had questions from others about what our government's climate plan is, and that factor is the Trans Mountain pipeline. I opposed the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, but there is one thing I must emphasize. I disagree with people who say that this purchase negates all of the other work that is being done to transition to a low-carbon economy. It does not. There is much work that is being done right now, and there is much more that needs to be done. We need to keep pushing.
I give a shout-out to all the activists and environmentalists out there, because they are the ones who helped to clear the path and to push us down that path further toward a low-carbon economy. We need that strength. As we push forward, we also need to mark where we have come from, where we are now and where we want to go, what the further steps are. It is a road map. Without a road map, it can be dispiriting because we cannot just push without looking forward, looking backward and seeing what we need to get to success.
What have we been doing over the past three and a half years to transition to a low-carbon economy? The single most important piece, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is putting a price on pollution. Here I want to thank some of the environmental activists out there. Citizens' Climate Lobby has been wonderful in coming out and taking the time to speak to MPs and educate communities about the importance of a price on pollution. Its work has been tremendous.
Last year, Paul Romer and William Nordhaus won the Nobel Prize for economics. Both studied a price on pollution, and what they found was that it works. It works because it signals to consumers and to producers which services and which goods have a higher carbon effect on us. It also encourages innovation, and that is exactly what we need: We need to innovate.
When William Nordhaus looked for a place to point out as a success story, he pointed to British Columbia, which has a system very similar to the plan that is being rolled out nationally. He pointed to the fact that not only does British Columbia have a strong economy, but it has lowered per capita gasoline use and improved vehicle fuel efficiency. The price on pollution has worked, and it has been there for over a decade.
Here I give a shout-out to the activists, because this is where we need to stand strong together.
The price on pollution is essential, but there is a lot of pressure right now to dismantle that system. There are court cases in Saskatchewan and in Ontario. I was very pleased that we won the court case in Saskatchewan in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, but there is a lot of pressure. Right now, in Ontario, the Ontario government is rolling out a $30-million ad campaign to convince people that a price on pollution is not the way to go. Rather than using the money for planting trees and fighting climate change and doing what we need to do, the Ontario government has chosen to use that money to fight the climate plan, to fight this essential building block.
This is an active battle. The price on pollution must stay. We need it as an essential building block for a low-carbon economy. To everyone who believes we need to do this and believes there is a climate emergency, we need to come together and fight to make sure the price on pollution stays.
As I was studying the sources of our emissions and what we need to do, one thing I found surprising was that it is buildings that are the largest CO2 emitters in cities. In fact, in the GTHA, 44% of our emissions come from buildings. A lot of work is being done right now to address that issue. Some of it relates to retrofits, model building codes, energy efficiency regulations and innovation. All of these are important steps in trying to reduce the emissions coming from our buildings.
The largest source of the greenhouse gases coming from our buildings is what we use to heat and cool them, and in Toronto there have been federal investments in the Enwave deep lake cooling system. That system cools all of downtown Toronto's hospitals in a low-carbon way. It does not produce all of those emissions, which is exactly what we are trying to move away from. It also cools many of Toronto's downtown buildings, including university buildings and office buildings. Through federal investments, we have allowed that system to expand, and that is exactly the innovation we want to see.
We have also put in place energy efficiency regulations to improve the energy performance of over 20 categories of appliances and equipment. This will decrease GHG emissions by about 700,000 tonnes by 2030.
Another thing I care about deeply is emissions from transportation, and I have been working on this issue. About 25% of Canada's emissions come from transportation. Our government has made historic investments in public transit, and we are also deploying electrical vehicle charging stations and implementing a zero emissions vehicle strategy. All of these things will come together as part of the transition to a low-carbon economy.
I am a TTC rider and I use public transit. I know that the system in Toronto faces many problems related to overcrowding and maintenance issues. In my own community, we feel deeply the need for a relief line.
Our government has made investments there. In fact, almost $5 billion was allocated for public transit in the city of Toronto. However, there are some hiccups right now with the provincial government, and that is causing some complications. Despite this, I can say that all of my Toronto colleagues and I are championing and will champion the city's public transit system. We will stand by our city leaders to make sure Toronto gets what it needs to have a strong transit system.
So far, we have funded maintenance, which, as I said, was much needed, and we have addressed the need for buses. We have helped to purchase electric buses, and we have also invested in active transportation, such as in expanding bike sharing and bike parking. I would love to see a national active transportation strategy.
The last piece is about coal. I note that 11% of Canada's electricity supply is from coal-fired electricity, but it is responsible for 72% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector.
Ontario moved away from coal-fired plants many years ago, and we felt the difference. We used to have 50 smog days a year, and we are now down to zero. That is a tremendous difference, and it has an impact on our health. It is something we need to do.
We are moving on a just transition away from coal-fired plants. In talking to members today, I am building out that road map.
We have a long road to travel, but we are on it, and we need to work together to make sure that we continue in our transition to a low-carbon economy.