Nov 12, 2021

How the Minister of Environment and Climate Change can support a sustainable, competitive economic future

After over a year-and-a-half of lockdowns and sacrifice, Canadians are seeing the benefits of their efforts to stop COVID-19. The pandemic is not over, but we can now look beyond COVID to plan for our future. Now, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is writing “mandate letters” to members of the Cabinet with policy priorities that will support growth of the Canadian economy.

Canada is moving towards a sustainable, low carbon future. Ongoing investments in renewable energy, green supply chains, and carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies demonstrate the Canadian business community’s commitment to leading the net-zero transition. While Canada has much to be proud of, there is still much work to do to secure a sustainable future that supports the needs of future generations as well as the economic competitiveness of Canada.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change should:

  • Promote that the energy sector is a key partner in Canada’s net-zero strategy, and that energy security remains fundamental to climate action.
  • Implement policies and programs that support investment in innovative clean technologies and services.
  • Encourage securities regulators, standards setters, and the international community to harmonize approaches to ESG reporting, carbon offsets, and broader climate policies.
  • Ensure that environmental policies do not unintentionally create disincentives for investing in Canada. 
  • Integrate hydrogen into Canada’s net-zero future through the development of hydrogen infrastructure, pilot projects, and research partnerships with Canada’s post-secondary institutions.
  • Champion the development of a circular economy by implementing policies and programs that create new employment and economic potential across Canada.
  • Partner with provincial and local governments to advance a national climate change adaptation strategy and to support local adaptation initiatives.
  • Create national guidelines for reclaimed water standards.
  • Adopt a “one project, one assessment” approach for environmental assessments that recognizes equivalency for projects at both the federal and provincial/territorial levels.
  • Integrate Indigenous stakeholders in the environmental assessment project review process by enhancing funding for participation and by developing strategies to build longer-term capacity within communities.

To see all 21 of our mandate letters to ministers, click here.

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