Media statement: proposed regulated sales targets for zero emission vehicles

“The regulated sales targets for zero emission vehicles announced today will reduce emissions by helping more drivers get behind the wheel of an electric car.

“Right now, more than half of Canadians want their next car to be an electric vehicle but they face long wait times, with scarce supply going to provinces like British Columbia and Quebec, where sales mandates are already in place. The federal regulations will help shorten wait times for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by increasing supply in all provinces and territories

“The transportation sector is the second-largest source of carbon emissions in Canada, and more than half of those emissions come from cars and light-duty trucks. In 2021, the Canadian Climate Institute analyzed over 60 potential net zero scenarios in Canada—in every scenario, switching to zero-emission vehicles is a central part of the transition.

“While increased public transit and active transportation are also safe bets to reduce emissions in the sector, accelerating the shift to ZEVs, which the regulations will do, is crucial to driving down the transportation sector’s emissions and helping Canada meet its climate goals.”

– Anna Kanduth, Senior Research Associate, Canadian Climate Institute

IESO’s Pathways to Decarbonization report

“The IESO’s Pathways to Decarbonization report confirms that a non-emitting electricity grid is doable in Ontario. By focusing on energy efficiency and demand-side management, transmission and storage, nuclear energy, as well as solar and wind power, Ontario can meet growing demand for clean electricity and get off gas-fired generation.”

“Investors and businesses are keen on a moratorium on new gas-fired electricity in Ontario, because clean electricity supply is increasingly being prioritized by manufacturers. It also offers all businesses a way of meeting their net zero goals.”

“The study will be helpful for energy planning and policy-making in Ontario. Still, it leaves questions about how heavily Ontario will rely on the gas-fired capacity it already has and is developing—and when it will phase it out entirely. It is possible to get off gas well before the study’s 2050 target.”

Climate Institute research shows that a switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity will allow Ontarians to spend less of their incomes on energy. By following this IESO study with a climate-aligned energy planning process and well-designed procurement tools, the Government of Ontario can make a measurable difference in positioning Ontario’s economy for success and making life more affordable for all Ontarians.” 

– Jason Dion, Mitigation Research Director, Canadian Climate Institute

Expert assessment recommends improvements to National Adaptation Strategy

OTTAWA, 15 December 2022 — Today, the Canadian Climate Institute released an independent assessment of the federal government’s first National Adaptation Strategy, recommending 11 ways to strengthen the Strategy to drive action on the biggest climate risks facing the country. 

While the Strategy and corresponding federal Action Plan represent a major step toward a more coordinated and effective nationwide response to the devastating effects of climate change, the Institute’s recommendations aim to ensure the Strategy is implemented effectively. 

Improving national coordination and investment in climate change resilience is essential at a time when more frequent and severe disasters fuelled by climate change are putting lives and livelihoods at risk, costing the economy billions, and driving up household expenses. According to the Institute’s recent research, failing to adapt to the ongoing impacts of climate change would slow Canada’s economic growth by $25 billion annually by 2025.

Toward a Safer and More Resilient Canada evaluates the National Adaptation Strategy based on four key elements outlined previously in the report, Closing Canada’s Adaptation Gap. The Institute’s assessment finds the federal Strategy takes important steps to build resilience by setting nationwide adaptation priorities for action, with long-term goals, medium-term objectives, and measurable near-and medium-term targets. The Institute also recommends substantive changes to make the Strategy more effective as it is finalized, including: 

  1. Identifying the top risks facing Canadians due to climate change, and clearly linking those to goals and objectives that will mitigate these risks.
  2. Identifying priority action areas in the Strategy to guide federal and other action plans.
  3. Using whole-of government tools to enhance coordination and apply adaptation considerations across the range of government decisions.
  4. Strengthening the monitoring and evaluation framework and aligning it more closely with the objectives and targets in the Strategy.  

To date, Canada’s approach to climate adaptation has been largely uncoordinated, leading to disjointed actions by different orders of government, the private sector, and civil society. Adopting a strengthened, coordinated National Adaptation Strategy would help align governments’ adaptation priorities and drive meaningful progress toward preventing and responding to the catastrophic effects of climate change in Canada, including floods and wildfires, hurricanes and heat domes, droughts and disappearing permafrost. 

QUOTES

“Climate impacts are getting worse by the day and we need a strong National Adaptation Strategy to protect Canadians. The current plan is a good start—specific improvements will position it for success.” 

—Ryan Ness, Adaptation Research Director, Canadian Climate Institute

“Until now, Canada’s approach to adaptation has left Canadians needlessly vulnerable to climate change. The new National Adaptation Strategy is a potential turning point—if strengthened and backed with the necessary investment, it can protect people and Canada’s economy from the worst of what’s to come.”

— Sarah Miller, Senior Research Associate, Canadian Climate Institute

 

“The National Adaptation Strategy points the way to protecting the health, safety, and prosperity of communities from coast to coast to coast. Ensuring the Strategy is as strong and effective as possible is the best possible gift for Canadians for 2023.”

—Rick Smith, President, Canadian Climate Institute

The Institute’s work on this topic

CONTACT

Catharine Tunnacliffe

Communications Director

Canadian Climate Institute

(226) 212-9883

ctunnacliffe@climateinstitute.ca

First National Adaptation Strategy a major step towards a safer and more resilient Canada

OTTAWA, November 24, 2022 – Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy and federal Adaptation Action Plan, released today, represent a major step toward a more coordinated and effective nationwide response to the devastating effects of climate change. 

For a National Adaptation Strategy to save lives and costs, it needs to both set the right direction and be implemented effectively. In the report Closing Canada’s Adaptation Gap: Key elements of a National Adaptation Strategy, experts at the Canadian Climate Institute identify four key elements that would make the Strategy robust and effective. It should:  

  • Set national adaptation goals and priorities based on risk; 
  • Identify immediate and actionable short-term policy priorities; 
  • Define clear governance processes to improve effectiveness and coordination; and 
  • Create a robust framework for measuring progress and enhancing accountability.

The Strategy and Action Plan released today address or partially address each of these elements. The Strategy identifies long-term goals and objectives for climate change adaptation in Canada across five key areas, and the Action Plan lists important new actions and investments the federal government will make to boost progress in those areas, as well as existing investments that will continue. The Strategy also commits the federal government to coordinating implementation with other orders of government, and proposes specific outcomes against which progress will be measured. 

There are also several opportunities for clarification and improvement. Additional detail is needed regarding how the overall goals and priorities of the Strategy address Canada’s biggest climate risks. The processes and responsibilities for coordinating implementation, monitoring progress, and regularly updating the strategy and action plans are currently unclear. And there are still more levers the federal government can use to move climate adaptation forward beyond those outlined in the Action Plan.  

The Canadian Climate Institute will publish a detailed analysis of the National Adaptation Strategy in the weeks ahead. We will assess how well the strategy prepares Canada for a changing climate and make recommendations for improving the strategy and its implementation as it is finalized. 

Quotes

“From Hurricane Fiona in the East to atmospheric rivers, heat domes, and fires in the West, climate change is already here. A credible and coordinated National Adaptation Strategy will help governments across Canada prioritize measures that protect Canadians from its worst impacts. This Strategy is a major step towards a safer and more resilient Canada—now it’s time to iron out the wrinkles and get to work. Lives and livelihoods are at stake.” 

—Ryan Ness, Adaptation Research Director, Canadian Climate Institute

“Climate change is already making life more expensive and more dangerous. Reducing Canadians’ vulnerability to worsening climate impacts is essential to protect our health, safety, and prosperity. Every dollar invested in adaptation can save $13-$15 down the road—we can’t afford to delay making our communities safer and more resilient.” 

—Sarah Miller, Adaptation Research Associate, Canadian Climate Institute

“Climate change damage is costing Canada billions of dollars a year. This new strategy gives us a fighting chance to staunch the bleeding. While there is still more to do to ensure this strategy drives meaningful progress, its implementation will help Canada prepare for the threats ahead.”

—Rick Smith, President, Canadian Climate Institute

Key facts

Action on adaptation is long overdue: damages resulting from climate change are already a significant drag on economic growth and a major financial burden on households in Canada, according to the Institute’s recent report Damage Control: Reducing the costs of Climate Impacts in Canada. Our research finds: 

  • Climate change is already pushing up the cost of living in Canada. By 2025, the average Canadian household could be worse off by $700 a year due to climate change-related factors alone. 
  • Alberta, the province most exposed to weather-related disasters, could experience median GDP losses at mid-century of $2,890 per capita in a low-emissions scenario or $3,920 per capita in a high-emissions scenario. 
  • Without investing adequately in adaptation, all households will lose income due to climate impacts, and low-income households will suffer the most—losing between 12 per cent of their income in a low-emissions scenario and 19 per cent in a high-emissions scenario by the end of the century. 
  • By 2025, Canada will see $25 billion in losses from the warming experienced since 2015, relative to a stable-climate scenario.
  • By 2055, those damages could rise to $100 billion and wipe out half a million jobs. 
  • All of these damages represent only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the climate damages Canada’s economy and society are likely to face. There remain many below-the-waterline risks that can’t yet be accurately modelled.
  • Proactive adaptation measures can cut climate costs in half, and when combined with global emissions reductions, can deliver cost savings of three-quarters. 
  • Adaptation provides a significant return on investment, producing economic benefits of $13-$15 for every $1 spent through avoided direct and indirect costs. 

Contact

For further resources or to arrange an interview with one of our experts, please contact: 

​​Janina Stajic

jstajic@climateinstitute.ca

(226) 212-9883

Background 

Communities across Canada have been hit hard in recent years by the devastating impacts of climate warming: 

  • Hurricane Fiona was the most costly extreme weather event ever recorded in Atlantic Canada, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, resulting in insurance payouts of $660 million (excluding additional damages not covered by insurance). 
  • Last year, record torrential rains submerged Vancouver, disrupting the $550 million worth of cargo that moves through the massive port daily, for months on end. 
  • Canadian homeowners have spent 42 per cent more on their home insurance premiums in the past decade as a direct result of climate change-related damage to properties. Homeowners in Alberta, which is particularly vulnerable to wildfires, experienced a 140 per cent increase. 
  • Climate change is also partly responsible for the rising price of groceries—last year, extreme weather raised global food prices by 28 per cent. 
  • Three of the six largest claims ever for federal government disaster assistance came from British Columbia in 2021—$3.5 billion from the November floods, $960 million from spring flooding, and $420 million from wildfires.

Experts available to comment on National Adaptation Strategy

The Canadian Climate Institute has bilingual adaptation experts available to comment on the forthcoming release of Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy.

Our experts have a deep understanding of Canada’s adaptation policy landscape and what needs to happen to prepare and protect communities from the ongoing and increasingly severe impacts of climate change. 

In Spring 2022 the Institute published research outlining the four essential aspects of an effective and robust federal adaptation strategy: Closing Canada’s Adaptation Gap: Key elements of a National Adaptation Strategy

Those essential aspects include: 

  • setting national adaptation priorities based on risk and establishing measurable goals and outcomes for each major risk Canada faces; 
  • identifying short-term policy priorities that are actionable in the immediate term;
  • defining improved governance processes to improve efficiency and coordination; and,
  • creating a framework for measuring progress.

To speak to one of our experts, please contact: 

Dave Mitchell

Senior Communications Specialist

226-212-9883

dmitchell@climateinstitute.ca

And stay tuned: Shortly following the National Adaptation Strategy’s release, the Institute will publish an in-depth analysis, clearly assessing how well it prepares Canada for a changing climate and expanding on both its strengths and shortcomings.

Canadian Climate Institute response to federal carbon pricing update

Mitigation Research Director Jason Dion of the Canadian Climate Institute issued the following statement in response to the federal government’s announcement of Climate Action Incentive payouts for 2023:

“Extending the federal price on pollution to PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia helps ensure a more consistent and predictable approach to carbon pricing across the country. 

Returning the revenues to households as rebates will help keep Canada’s energy transition fair and affordable for Canadians—especially when combined with up-front rebates for cleaner technologies that help people save money on their energy bills, like yesterday’s federal heat pump rebate announcement

Research has shown that putting a price on carbon pollution is an effective and efficient way to reduce the emissions that cause climate change.”

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Janina Stajic
jstajic@climateinstitute.ca
(226) 212-9883

Resources

New website tracks Canada’s progress towards 2030 climate target

OTTAWA, November 9, 2022: Today, the Canadian Climate Institute launches a new online data project, 440 Megatonnes, which tracks Canada’s progress on implementing climate policy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 440 Megatonnes refers to Canada’s commitment to reduce emissions by at least 40 per cent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade—or no more than 440 Mt a year in 2030—en route to net zero by 2050.

The website features expert insights, one-of-a-kind searchable databases, and downloadable open-source data showing where Canada is on track to meet its 2030 target and where there are opportunities to correct course. It tracks information about national, regional, and sectoral emissions, government policies and spending, and corporate emissions-reduction commitments.

At launch, the website includes:

A guided tour of the site’s functionality, data sets, and other features is available to the media upon request. Media are welcome to join a public webinar on Thursday, November 10, 2022, at 1 pm ET for an in-depth look at 440 Megatonnes.

QUOTATIONS

“Tracking Canada’s progress in reducing emissions is absolutely necessary to support an informed public conversation on climate action and effective policy implementation. But good data on Canada’s progress has been extremely hard to come by—until now. 440 Megatonnes will make exclusive data and expert insight freely available to spotlight what’s working, and to promote a cycle of continuous improvement, as Canada works to meet its climate targets.”

— Dave Sawyer, Principal Economist, Canadian Climate Institute

“What gets measured gets managed. This decade is a pivotal time for climate action in Canada and around the world, and reducing emissions must be top-of-mind for government and corporate leaders. That’s why we’re launching 440 Megatonnes—to provide regular, independent assessment of Canada’s progress toward its 2030 and 2050 climate goals.”

— Anna Kanduth, Project Lead, 440 Megatonnes, Canadian Climate Institute 

CONTACT

Catharine Tunnacliffe
Director of Communications, Canadian Climate Institute
ctunnacliffe@climateinstitute.ca

(416) 527-1777

Experts from the Canadian Climate Institute available at COP27

WHO

Rick Smith, President of the Canadian Climate Institute, and Caroline Lee, the Institute’s Research Lead, Mitigation, are attending COP27 and available to speak with media from November 10-16. Rick Smith et Caroline Lee sont disponibles pour des commentaires en français et en anglais. 

WHEN

  • Rick Smith is available after being part of the International Climate Council Network’s panel on Friday, November 11 (4:15 pm local time/9.15 am EST, Canadian Pavilion) to comment on the progress the ICCN has made since its launch at COP26. 
  • Rick Smith is available after the “Achieving Net-Zero by 2050“ panel on November 11 (6.45 pm local time/11.45 am EST, Canadian Pavilion) and available for comment on Canada’s climate policy progress towards net zero. 
  • Rick Smith is available after being part of the “Circularity for Climate“ panel on November 11 (3 pm local time/8 am EST, Canada Pavilion) and available for comment on the circular economy’s role in mitigating emissions.

Other topics Rick Smith and Caroline Lee can speak to throughout COP27: 

  • How Canada can move from plans to implementation on emissions-reduction, and which policies will accelerate the energy transition. 
  • Doubling down on “safe bets”, available and affordable solutions, for the energy transition, which are ready to be deployed at speed and scale. 
  • Canada’s climate policy progress and the Climate Institute’s new resource, 440Megatonnes, which tracks Canada’s progress to its 2030 emissions reduction target, on the way to 2050. 
  • The role of climate councils and the growing International Climate Councils Network.

CONTACT

  • Between 8am-9pm Eastern Standard Time: Catharine Tunnacliffe, Director of Communications at ctunnacliffe@climateinstitute.ca or 226-212-9883
  • Local time in Egypt, November 10-16: Rick Smith, President, at rsmith@climateinstitute.ca
  • Local time in Egypt, November 10-16: Caroline Lee, Senior Research Associate, clee@climateinstitute

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau to speak at national climate conference

WHAT

2030 in Focus: Getting the Next Decade Right on Net-Zero, a public event  focused on the progress toward net zero, from a national and an international perspective, co-hosted by the Net-Zero Advisory Body and the Canadian Climate Institute.

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau will appear at 15:15, in conversation with Bloomberg News’ senior climate reporter Akshat Rathi on the economic imperative of a low-carbon economy. 

WHEN

Tuesday, October 18 

Conference from 8:30am-4:30pm ET

  • 15:15: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau in conversation with Akshat Rathi
  • 15:45: The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources. 

Full program available here

WHO

In addition to the Prime Minister, conference speakers include: 

  • The Honourable Stephen Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
  • The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
  • Andrew Light, Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Leah Stokes, Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, one of Time100’s NEXT list for 2022
  • Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee
  • Sara Moarif, Head of Environment and Climate Change, International Energy Agency

Tickets for the general public are sold out, but there is limited space available on-site for accredited journalists. To request media access to the event, please contact us.

Online: The complete program will be live-streamed online. Register here to reserve a free virtual seat in advance. 

CONTACT

Catharine Tunnacliffe

Communications Director

Canadian Climate Institute

(226) 212-9883

ctunnacliffe@climateinstitute.ca

Canada’s economy already hurt by climate change, households hit hardest

OTTAWA, September 28, 2022—A report released today by the Canadian Climate Institute shows that the mounting costs of a volatile climate are already dragging down Canada’s economy, with these costs rising swiftly in the coming years. The report—Damage Control: Reducing the costs of climate impacts in Canada—examines the macroeconomic costs of climate change, assessing them in both low- and -high emissions scenarios relative to a stable-climate scenario. The analysis shows that climate impacts will cost Canada billions, making life less and less affordable for households as economic growth slows, governments raise taxes to pay for climate disasters, job losses increase, and goods become more expensive due to disrupted supply chains.

The report, which is a culmination of a five-report series and the most comprehensive macroeconomic analysis of climate change in Canada to date, also presents solutions. Proactive adaptation measures and policies can limit climate change damage, cutting the projected costs in half, saving billions of dollars, and making life more affordable for households. A dollar invested in proactive adaptation measures, the report finds, can return $13-$15 in direct and indirect benefits. And if adaptation measures are combined with global emissions reductions, future costs could be reduced by three-quarters, putting Canada on a path to a more stable and affordable future.

Key findings from Damage Control:

  • Climate-induced damages are already here and they’re adding up. By 2025, climate impacts will be slowing Canada’s economic growth by $25 billion annually, which is equal to 50 per cent of projected GDP growth.
  • All households will lose income, and low-income households will suffer the most. Low-income households could see income losses of 12 per cent in a low emissions scenario and 19 percent in a high emissions scenario by the end of the century—markedly higher losses than the median income group. 
  • Climate change is a job-killer. Job losses could double by mid-century, and increase to 2.9 million by end-of-century.
  • Adaption pays off big. Every dollar spent on adaptation measures saves $13-$15, including both direct and indirect economy-wide benefits. 
  • Limiting further warming, while adapting to the warming already baked in, pays off bigger. Taking proactive adaptation measures cuts climate costs in half, and if these are combined with global mitigation measures, then costs are cut by three-quarters. 

QUOTATIONS

“The findings couldn’t be clearer: Canada is directly in the crosshairs of a changing climate. The economy is highly sensitive to this threat, and we’re already paying the costs: as early as 2025, the damages will have cut Canada’s growth rate in half. We need to reckon with these massive costs and do everything we can to limit the damage.”

—Dave Sawyer, Principal Economist, Canadian Climate Institute

“The cost of inaction when it comes to climate change is measurable and mounting. We need to put adaptation and mitigation measures in place now to avoid severe damage to our economy, society, health, and well-being.”

—Rick Smith, President, Canadian Climate Institute

“The economic consequences of climate change are only now coming into view, and this report provides thoughtful insights on just how climate change could impact the Canadian economy. The threat is real, but, fortunately, there’s much that can be done to limit the damages. Investing in adaptation and resilience today will help protect Canada’s economy and could save lives. Taking proactive adaptation measures can cut the costs of climate change impacts and provide a strong return on investment, saving money in the long-term while paving the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future for Canadians.”

—Susan McGeachie, Head of BMO Climate Institute, BMO Financial Group

RESOURCES

WEBINAR

Join the Canadian Climate Institute for a webinar on September 29 at 1:00 pm ET focused on how we can contain the economic damage of climate impacts. Register now for Damage Control: How adaptation policy can help Canada get ready for the economic cost of climate change.

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CONTACT

Catharine Tunnacliffe

Director of Communications

ctunnacliffe@climateinstitute.ca

(416) 527-1777