Net Zero Opportunities: A province-by-province comparison
Provinces’ preparation for the global low-carbon transition will determine whether they sink or swim.
Our 2021 report Sink or Swim highlighted the risks and opportunities Canada’s economy faces in the global low-carbon future. Building on that work, we took an in-depth look at how individual provinces are progressing toward the low-carbon transition. These provincial profiles outline province-specific risks and opportunities, trends in transition-opportunity sectors, and barriers to accelerating progress. Only provinces were assessed due to a lack of data on Canada’s territories.
All provinces are at distinct stages of progress: some are gaining momentum, some are showing signs of progress, while others are just getting started. Each province must do more to remain competitive, and to take advantage of huge economic growth opportunities in the new global market.
The overview report Net Zero Opportunities: A province-by-province comparison highlights key findings, compares performance between provinces, and makes recommendations for how provincial and federal governments can support Canada’s transition to a low carbon future.
Provinces gaining momentum in the low-carbon transition
Four provinces are leading the way in the low-carbon transition, with large private sector investments supported by strong policies. Helping high-potential companies scale and commercialize in these provinces can generate new engines of growth and keep the momentum going.
British Columbia has private sector momentum across a range of growing transition markets, supported by a robust policy environment and ongoing government investments.
Ontario has Canada’s biggest economy, largest capital markets, and an industrial base attracting significant investments in low-carbon goods and services.
Alberta has investments in growing transition markets, significant natural resources, a skilled workforce, and is progressing on decarbonizing some incumbent sectors.
Quebec has significant natural resources, cheap and clean electricity, and is seizing opportunities across a range of growing transition markets.
Provinces showing signs of progress in the low-carbon transition
Three provinces are gaining momentum in the low-carbon transition, but to remain globally competitive they need to accelerate efforts to take advantage of growth opportunities.
Manitoba has abundant low-cost hydroelectricity, and could use this competitive advantage to pursue more growth opportunities across a range of growing transition markets.
Nova Scotia has the most transition-opportunity companies of all Atlantic provinces and can build on new pockets of economic growth.
New Brunswick has concentrations of specialized innovation, and opportunities to scale-up low-carbon companies.
Provinces getting started in the low-carbon transition
Three provinces are just beginning to seize new transition opportunities. Urgent action is needed to leverage their strengths, attract new sources of growth, and avoid being left behind.
Saskatchewan has potential in growing markets such as transition minerals, but needs more focused policy and investment.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island has natural resource advantages and is showing signs of growth, which it could build on by supporting transition-opportunity companies.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador has many advantages including hydroelectricity, mineral resources, and ocean technology, however, policy and investment remains focused on the oil and gas sector.
Master reference list
Due to data limitations, information for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador are collated into one profile.
Manitoba has the right stuff to excel in the global low-carbon transition
Yet the province lags in mobilizing capital and fostering new companies
The Maritimes could be a net zero success story
How can the Maritimes get in on the action?
Rough waters ahead. Is Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy ready?
The province can succeed in the new economy—but future engines of growth won’t look like past ones.
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