Canadian Chamber of Commerce issues report on path to Net Zero

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To deliver on a net-zero emissions plan, Canada must leverage the ingenuity and innovation of Canadian business, says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. PHOTO by Pexels

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its Net-zero Council has released a report, entitled How We Get There Matters: Establishing a Path to Net-zero in Canada, which provides both analysis and recommendations to encourage a timely national debate on priorities and current gaps on how to get to net-zero.

The report asserts that Canada’s business community must play a key role in our sustainable future and responds to the federal government’s major climate change initiatives – in particular, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan.

“The extreme weather events we continue to see throughout the world demonstrate the urgency of the climate change crisis,” said Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Our plan to meet our national emissions reductions targets must be both bold and detailed. We can’t get there unless we leverage the ingenuity and innovation of Canadian business.”

The Net-zero Council is made up of over 20 Canadian businesses that have committed to decarbonizing their operations by 2050 or sooner, and are passionate about helping achieve emissions reduction targets set by the government. The report offers four core recommendations that reflect progress made to date and areas where Canada is falling behind:

  • The 2030 roadmap must firmly position Canada for 2050. Otherwise, we risk failing to meet our net-zero goals;
  • Canada needs to evaluate the global impact of its plans;
  • Canada’s climate plan must empower our workers to lead the change; and,
  • An orderly and inclusive transition is critical to success.

“The private sector is eager to do its part, and we want to work collaboratively with government to gain clarity on the path forward and help Canada meet its targets,” said Heather Chalmers, President and CEO of GE Canada. “By working together, we can equip Canada’s workforce to succeed, and our collective environmental and economic ambitions can become reality.”

To Canada for 2050, the Council calls on the government to clarify the inputs that are required to deliver on Canada’s climate targets. It also asks the government to define “net-zero aligned investment”, ensure consistent reporting of net-zero spending across all levels of government, and work across governments, the private sector and other organizations to set out clear investment plans and targets by sector.

The Council strongly believes the Federal government’s own level of net-zero funding must substantially rise. Current federal government spending estimated to be about 10%-20% of what is required across the public and private sector combined.

“Canada is an important player in the global economy, with ambitious net-zero goals. To achieve our 2050 target, we need the government to create conditions for success. This includes putting policies in place that encourage private investment, create opportunities for Canadian business to remain competitive and thrive, while also ensuring that there is transparency for citizens on the costs and benefits of net-zero. This will create long-term opportunities for investors, businesses, workers and citizens,” added Matthew Wetmore, National Managing Partner, Clients and Markets, PwC Canada.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its Net-zero Council support research and advocacy that advances Canada’s pathway to net-zero while ensuring that steps we manage the cumulative cost and regulatory impacts on competitiveness. Membership on the Council is available for companies that have made public declarations to achieve net-zero by 2050.

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