Conclusions & Recommendations

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By identifying 11 clean growth indicators, this report set out to achieve three main objectives.

First, it defines clean growth—within the context of climate change—as inclusive economic growth that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, strengthens resilience to a changing climate, and improves the well-being of Canadians. This definition will guide future Institute work in the clean growth research stream and offer an approach that could usefully be adopted by all levels of government in Canada. Thinking about climate change, economic, societal, and environmental challenges in an integrated way can help shift from a focus on trade-offs towards collaborative solutions that achieve multiple objectives simultaneously. This type of approach will become increasingly important as action to address climate change accelerates. 

Second, it provides a framework for measuring Canada’s clean growth progress over time. By tracking the indicators identified in this report, Canada can quantify clean growth success over time and inform an ongoing dialogue within and outside governments on optimal pathways and policy choices. We offer these clean growth indicators not as a definitive guide but rather as a starting point to a broader conversation on how Canada can address climate change while also meeting important economic, societal, and environmental objectives. This broader conversation would benefit from contributions of people with different perspectives, backgrounds, experiences, and interests from across Canada.

Third, it helps identify opportunities for government policy to better support clean growth. Benchmarking progress helps identify past successes as well as next steps in Canada’s transition as a country. Areas or regions where progress has been slow or sliding backwards on one or more indicators can signal the need for new or expanded policy. Areas or regions where progress has been strong can highlight important lessons learned that could be accelerated or replicated elsewhere.

Based on our analysis, the three main findings below emerge. For each, we make recommendations for governments. We also highlight areas for further exploration in cases where our analysis does not suggest definitive recommendations but does highlight potential policy options or questions that merit further consideration and analysis.