Canadian Federal Government Aims For 100% Clean Energy By 2025

Pubnico wind farm in Nova Scotia

The Pubnico wind farm in Nova Scotia

The Government of Canada is determined to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 in a move that it states will help create well-paying jobs for the middle class and ensure they provide the next generation with a prosperous and sustainable economy.

The announcement was made in the House of Commons by the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board. Additionally, the Centre for Greening Government is being created at the Treasury Board Secretariat to track the Government’s emissions centrally, coordinate efforts across government, and drive results to makes sure they meet their objectives.

The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board, stated, “The Government must do its part to meet the challenges of climate change to leave a prosperous and sustainable economy and a strong middle class for the next generations. I was proud to announce that we will be reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and that all departments are on board to get it done.”

Progress towards this reduction will be achieved by strategic investments in infrastructure and vehicle fleets, green procurement, and support for clean technology.

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, noted, “We are taking action on climate change by greening our government’s activities and are doing our part to make further progress towards Canada’s emissions target. We will do more, as we develop our pan-Canadian climate plan—a plan that will create good jobs for the benefit of Canadians, especially the middle class and those striving to join it.”

The Canadian Government has already announced $2.1 billion in Budget 2016 towards repairs and retrofits to a wide range of government buildings, and to the greening of government operations. The Government will immediately begin by aligning the way they measure greenhouse gas emissions with international standards to provide an accurate picture to measure their progress.

The Honourable Judy Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, commented, “Public Services and Procurement is committed to supporting our government’s goal of reducing carbon footprint through green purchases and building management. These actions demonstrate our leadership and dedication to improving the environment and the quality of life of Canadians.”

While the government’s target is set for 2030, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, along with federal departments and agencies, aspires to achieve this 40% reduction as early as 2025. By that date, Public Services and Procurement Canada—the Government’s principal landlord, will be purchasing 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources.

The Government’s investments will include revitalizing the heating and cooling plants in the National Capital Region, which provide services to more than 85 buildings and facilities. This investment will modernize six separate facilities and is anticipated to reduce their emissions by more than 45%.

One goal of the 2016–2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy is achieving a low-carbon government and it includes detailed milestones towards this transformation.