The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) commends the Government of Canada for its commitments in Budget 2019 to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through energy efficient buildings, maintaining a price on carbon pollution, and new skills development to support a clean economy.
“The CaGBC is encouraged by the federal government’s continuing investment in energy efficient buildings and by maintaining its commitment to a price on carbon, which is critical to achieving Canada’s climate change commitments,” says Thomas Mueller, President and Chief Executive Officer of CaGBC. “We are also pleased to see a commitment to ensuring that Canada’s workforce has the skills needed to transition to a clean economy – one that leads to both jobs for Canadians and economic growth.”
Improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon pollution in Canada’s homes and buildings was a key priority in Budget 2019. Earlier this year, CaGBC released Making The Case For Building To Zero Carbon, which confirms that, for Canada to meets its GHG reduction commitments, both energy use and carbon emissions need to be lowered simultaneously at the building level and can be accomplished cost effectively.
CaGBC understands that mass-scale emissions reductions and energy savings from buildings are only achievable through the acceleration of deep building retrofits. Budget 2019 invests in retrofits that will further the growth of a healthy retrofit economy in Canada. CaGBC looks to support this growth by helping building owners through its Zero Carbon Building Standard, a made-in-Canada solution that provides a path for new and existing buildings to reach zero carbon emissions.
Budget 2019 also aims to improve Canadian access to comparable and consolidated energy data to support better decision-making by governments and industry. CaGBC is committed to driving the uptake of national energy benchmarking programs across the country. In the coming weeks, CaGBC will launch a new energy and carbon initiative designed to encourage greater data transparency. CaGBC is encouraged to see Budget 2019 support access to energy data by Providing Natural Resources Canada with $15.2 million over five years to establish a virtual “Canadian Centre for Energy Information” to be delivered by Statistics Canada.
Finally, Budget 2019 acknowledges that acquiring new skills is essential to a thriving clean economy and supports skills development through a comprehensive new “Canada Training Benefit” that invests $1.7 billion to help pay the costs of training workers in new skills. CaGBC already offers training for trade workers in the construction industry through its Green Professional Building Skills Training (GPRO) program. Recognizing that developing a modern workforce is critical for the growth of Canada’s clean economy, the CaGBC examined the current skills gap that needs to be addressed to construct low carbon buildings through its report Trading Up: Equipping Ontario Trades with the Skills of the Future. The report recommended government incentives to foster the skills training needed to support the construction and mass retrofit of buildings that lower greenhouse gas emissions.
To learn more about the state of green buildings in Canada, the importance of investing in Canada’s retrofit economy, and CaGBC’s ongoing advocacy work, please visit cagbc.org/advocacy
About the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC)
CaGBC is the leading national organization dedicated to advancing green building and sustainable community development practices. As the voice of green building in Canada, we work closely with our national and chapter members in an effort to make every building greener. The CaGBC reduces environmental impacts from the built environment through project certification, advocacy and research. CaGBC established the LEED® green building rating system in Canada and developed the country’s first Zero Carbon Building Standard in May 2017. For more information cagbc.org.