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Coalition calls for low-carbon transformation

Posted on August 15, 2017

Leading building and energy professionals are urging the federal government to prioritize swift action to make Canada’s homes and buildings ultra energy-efficient and low-carbon in discussions between federal, provincial, and territorial energy ministers.

For the first time since the adoption of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Canada’s energy and mines ministers are gathering for their annual meeting in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

Ten organizations have released a letter to Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna. It urges the rapid and complete implementation of the building-sector commitments set out in the Pan-Canadian Framework. Eight months after its adoption, the organizations involved believe that it’s time for concrete timelines and commitments to fulfill the plan’s goals.

To improve energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, and create green jobs, the coalition encourages these key federal actions:

  1. Drive momentum toward “net-zero energy ready” new construction
  2. Accelerate retrofits and emissions reductions in existing buildings
  3. Improve energy-efficiency standards for appliances
  4. Catalyze private investment in energy efficiency through strategic use of public funds
  5. Lead by example with public buildings

Specific recommendations include: setting a clear expectation for provinces that all new construction should be net-zero energy ready by 2030, supporting provinces in requiring mandatory home energy labelling at time of listing, developing a comprehensive strategy for existing buildings, and requiring new publicly owned buildings to be built to net-zero energy ready standards as of this year.

The Pembina Institute, The Atmospheric Fund, and Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance initiated the letter. Its signatories include Architecture Canada, Équiterre, and Sustainable Buildings Canada.

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