Montreal, April 19th, 2021 – Équiterre welcomes the federal budget’s many significant investments to combat the climate crisis and to reduce GHG emissions by 36% by 2030, but is worried about the continued support for the oil and gas sector.
“In general, this budget is a start to the long awaited transition and it is consistent in many ways. However, we are eagerly awaiting the imminent announcement of Canada’s new climate targets at President Joe Biden’s Earth Summit. We will need a specific action plan for the oil and gas sector to improve Canada’s ambition and to ensure that we do our fair share,” states Marc-André Viau, Équiterre’s Director of Government Relations.
Action in transportation
The significant investments in the zero emission vehicle purchase subsidy program will help to increase interest in electric vehicles while we wait for regulatory measures to increase their availability.
“Considering that four out of five new vehicles sold in 2020 in Canada were light duty trucks, it would have been wise to reform the electric vehicle purchase subsidy program so that it could be self-financing through a fee on gas-guzzling vehicles, in order to free up significant funds to accelerate the transition in other sectors,” explains Andréanne Brazeau, Mobility Analyst.
Canada is notably falling behind in the decarbonization of heavy transport, a sector that has been visibly neglected despite its significant impact on the country’s emissions.
Still some gifts for the fossil fuel sector
Some spending remains incoherent with the government’s environmental ambition, namely some of the tax credits for the fossil fuel sector.
"The government is still investing massively to support the reduction of GHG emissions by large oil and gas industries, without explicitly attaching any green strings. We must stop doing all the environmental work for these companies; the government must send a clear signal and initiate a real transformation for employment in this sector so that it is compatible with Canada’s objective of carbon neutrality," states Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Climate Policy Analyst.
Some solutions in agriculture
Équiterre welcomes the sums invested to begin the necessary transition in agriculture.
"With new investments of $200 million over two years to support climate solutions in agriculture and with increased support for the adoption of energy-efficient and low-carbon farming methods, we feel that the government has heard the message that they must support a vision of a more sustainable and resilient agricultural sector," says Nadine Bachand, Senior Agriculture Analyst.
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Anthony Côté Leduc, Media Relations