Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA] (March 19, 2019) – Budget 2019 stays the course on federal climate policy commitments, continuing a number of key investments in existing policies, while presenting two notable new investments aimed at curbing climate change. Yet at a time when the world is more keenly aware than ever of the need for urgent action to address the escalating climate crisis, this budget is a tepid response to a house on fire.
CAN-Rac welcomes the commitment of $1 billion toward increasing energy efficiency in commercial, residential and multi-unit buildings that began last year, as well as incentives that should help to spur Canadian adoption of zero-emission vehicles.
We are also encouraged by the Government of Canada’s acknowledgement of the recommendations of the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities, including its commitment to provide multi-ministerial oversight to the Transition.
Ongoing and greater investment will be required in the long-term to deliver the climate action and economic diversification necessary to lock in prosperity and jobs and protect Canadians well into the future.
Budget 2019 reiterates Budget 2018’s pledge of $35 million over five years to ease the coal phase-out transition for workers and communities. In addition, a new fund of $150 million geared toward infrastructure projects in communities hit directly by the coal phase-out helps bridge the gap to the hundreds of millions of dollars the Task Force estimated would be required by 2030 to provide adequate transition support. Still, more resources will be required over the coming decade to ensure a just transition for coal workers, their families and their communities. Further, there is no plan for the important work of the Task Force on Just Transition to continue.
One year out from the 2020 deadline for donor countries to mobilize $100 billion USD of international climate finance in support of the Paris Agreement, Budget 2019 does nothing to ensure Canada is contributing its fair share of support.
While CAN-Rac welcomes the Government’s efforts to continue on the path of federal climate policy commitments, it’s important to note that business as usual policy is no longer acceptable to respond to the climate crisis and the level of climate action that citizens, students, workers and communities are urgently demanding.
Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, CAN-Rac Canada
+1 902 412 8953 email@example.com
CAN-Rac Canada is a coalition of 100 organizations from the country that cares about how a changing climate affects people, plants and wildlife. We work to advance solutions to managing our carbon pollution through sustainable and equitable development.
Photo : Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press