Emphasis on nature and climate key to resilient economic growthPembina Institute reacts to fall economic update

Nov. 30, 2020

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the fall economic statement today. Photo: @cafreeland, Twitter

OTTAWA — Isabelle Turcotte, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement today in response to the Government of Canada’s fall economic statement:

“The COVID-19 crisis has taken a huge and unequal toll on Canadians’ lives and livelihoods. We continue to extend our gratitude to front-line and essential workers, and applaud the government’s steadfast commitment to supporting workers, families, and communities through these difficult times.

“The fall economic statement reconfirms the government’s commitment to recover from the pandemic in a way that reflects Canadians’ awareness of the importance of building resilience to global disruptions and the growing consensus that green stimulus can generate better economic outcomes for more Canadians. Importantly, this economic statement builds on the $10-billion Growth Plan from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) with new measures to support energy retrofits for buildings, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and cleaner grids.

“We are pleased to see the federal government once again supporting efforts by homeowners to improve energy efficiency. Investments in building retrofits — including $2.6 billion for homeowners today and $2 billion for large-scale building retrofits through the CIB — drive job creation while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our buildings are like idling cars. Together buildings account for 13 per cent of Canada’s emissions. To meet climate targets and unlock significant job creation, we will need to dramatically increase this investment by matching and/or leveraging additional funds.

“We also welcome the investment in nature-based solutions that will help communities plant trees, restore degraded natural ecosystems that store carbon, and leverage farmers’ potential to significantly contribute to climate mitigation.

“We applaud the government for making investments to build a stronger and more inclusive workforce, creating opportunities for some of the Canadians who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. We look forward to seeing additional programs to ensure all workers have skills and training to take advantage of the new opportunities created by the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Today, the federal government made another downpayment on a resilient, inclusive and competitive economy. We look forward to seeing these important efforts leveraged by a robust policy package in the upcoming national climate plan, and further investment in Budget 2021, to ensure this investment continues to pay economic and climate dividends as the global economy rapidly decarbonizes.”

Quick facts

The fall economic statement makes the following new investments in climate action: 

  • Home energy retrofits: $2.6 billion over seven years
  • Zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure: $150 million over three years
  • Nature-based solutions:
    • $3.16 billion over 10 years to plant 2 billion trees
    • $631 million over 10 years to reduce carbon emissions related to ecosystem loss
    • $98.4 million over 10 years to leverage climate solutions in the agricultural sector
  • Cleaner grids through transmission lines: $25 million in 2021–22



Sarah MacWhirter
Communications director, Pembina Institute


Report: Green Budget Coalition Recommendations for Recovery and Budget Actions in 2020-2021

Report: Green Stimulus: Principles and recommendations for a 2020 economic stimulus package

Media release: Federal government reinforces commitment to green economic recovery

Media release: Investments now in building retrofits, clean vehicles and power will create jobs, lower emissions

Letter: Green stimulus in Canada’s building sector 

Backgrounder: Training up for deep retrofits

About the Pembina Institute

The Pembina Institute is a non-profit think-tank that works to advance a prosperous clean energy future for Canada through credible policy solutions that support communities, the economy, and a safe climate. We have offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Ottawa. Learn more: www.pembina.org


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