CaGBC recommendations for the upcoming federal budget

Introduction: From Relief to Recovery

In anticipation of the upcoming budget, CaGBC has summarized its recommendations to the federal government. In From Relief to Recovery, CaGBC continues to support investment in a green recovery as a way to reignite Canada’s economy, create new jobs, and move Canada closer to its 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets.

While today’s health and economic circumstances are unprecedented, CaGBC reminds the government this remains the critical decade for climate action. Decisions made today must help Canada achieve its climate change commitments. A green economic recovery provides a path for Canada’s transition toward a sustainable and low-carbon economy. With the throne speech, the investment in retrofits through the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), and the improved Climate Change Framework released last December, the government has demonstrated a commitment to this path.

To achieve the goal of decarbonization by 2050, the building sector must be front and center to significantly reduce carbon emissions. CaGBC offered the following recommendations to the federal government for consideration in the 2021 budget:

Recommendation 1: To advance workforce development and employment, the government should:

  • Invest $100 million in rapid upskilling of COVID-impacted workers into green building jobs relevant to retrofits and new zero carbon building construction and manufacturing;
  • Support the development of collaborative platforms such as Workforce 2030 that break siloed approaches to recruitment, training, and employment; and,
  • Develop new approaches to low-carbon skills training, such as micro-credentialing or creating a pathway to achieve a “green seal” designation, delivered through provincial and territorial governments.

Recommendation 2: To catalyze a low-carbon retrofit economy, the government should:

  • Work with stakeholders to establish an industry-driven retrofit program that builds out workforce capacity in support of the forthcoming retrofit code and newly introduced retrofit financing programs;
  • Allocate $50 million through zero per cent financing of energy audits to establish a pipeline of retrofit projects;
  • Deploy up to $10 billion through the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to finance low-carbon retrofits to support the amalgamation of retrofit project investments; and,
  • Require a standardized approach such as the Investor Confidence Project for developing and evaluating energy efficiency projects.

Recommendation 3: To stimulate zero carbon construction, the government should:

  • Require all federally-funded building projects to achieve zero-carbon performance;
  • Use the procurement process to require that eligible firms demonstrate low-carbon development, design, and construction experience;
  • Support the investment of up to $20 million in embodied carbon research to identify benchmarks and reduction targets, with the goal of incorporating embodied carbon requirements into the National Building Code.
  • Grant $1billion or 10 per cent of the development costs for public and private sector buildings to ensure they are built to achieve low-carbon performance.

Read the complete recommendations