Ottawa – November 8, 2023 – The impacts of the worsening climate and biodiversity crises continue to be felt across Canada and around the world. With a fall economic statement expected soon and the UN climate COP28 starting on November 30th, the Green Budget Coalition today released a comprehensive set of fiscal recommendations for how the federal government can simultaneously address these linked climate and biodiversity crises, while strengthening Canada’s economy and improving affordability and quality of life for people in Canada.
“We’re highlighting the most effective and urgent federal investment opportunities for climate, nature, jobs, and affordability,” said Will Bulmer, Green Budget Coalition Co-Chair and Lead Specialist, Government Relations at WWF-Canada, on releasing the Coalition’s Recommendations for Budget 2024.
“On nature, Canada’s international commitments announced at COP15 in Montréal need to be followed by leadership and long-term funding. On climate, Budget 2022 noted that $125-140 billion needs to be invested annually, from all sources, to attain net-zero emissions by 2050. While we face challenging economic times, investing in nature and climate now will save us more by avoiding future costs.”
“The fall economic update is a prime opportunity for the government to announce such investments,” said Sabine Jessen, Green Budget Coalition Co-Chair and Senior Strategic Advisor, National Ocean Program at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. “As repeated floods, fires and smokey air have illustrated, we must accelerate action to mitigate and adapt to climate change and halt and reverse biodiversity loss.”
The Green Budget Coalition’s five feature recommendations would also create jobs, enhance affordability, and support Indigenous leadership and well-being:
- Financing nature protection and recovery in Canada – Halting and reversing biodiversity loss, prioritizing permanent and long-term financing to support Indigenous-led conservation, and eliminating environmentally-harmful subsidies;
- A renovation wave for climate resilient homes and affordable home energy – Upgrading residential energy efficiency and comfort, focusing on underserved communities ($24.3 billion over five years);
- Advancing a zero-emissions electricity grid based on renewables, including transmission, generation, and demand-side programs ($26 billion over five years);
- Sustainable jobs for a net-zero Canada, including transition planning, job creation, and worker supports ($12.2 billion over five years);
- Sustainable agriculture – Helping producers and Canada be leaders in sustainable and innovative agriculture ($4.5 billion over five years);
Twenty-two of Canada’s largest environmental and conservation organizations form the Green Budget Coalition. Together, these groups have more than a million members and supporters, and decades of experience solving Canada’s biggest environmental challenges.
In addition to these five feature recommendations, the Coalition is advancing a diverse array of interrelated proposals, addressing issues including climate adaptation, environmental justice, transportation, carbon pricing, and climate and biodiversity conditions on federal spending.
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About the Green Budget Coalition:
The Green Budget Coalition, founded in 1999, brings together 22 leading Canadian environmental and conservation organizations to present an analysis of the most pressing issues regarding environmental sustainability in Canada and to make recommendations to the federal government regarding strategic fiscal and budgetary opportunities.
The Green Budget Coalition’s members are:
Alliance of Canadian Land Trusts, ALUS, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canadian Wildlife Federation, David Suzuki Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ecojustice Canada, Ecology Action Centre, Équiterre, Friends of the Earth Canada, Greenpeace Canada, International Conservation Fund of Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Nature United, Pembina Institute, West Coast Environmental Law Association, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and WWF-Canada.