Budget 2024

Tax and spend fiscal plan will inhibit growth

Canada has the expertise, the resources and the know-how to achieve the government’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. But the country’s climate ambitions must be matched by an equal commitment to sustainable economic growth, according to the Business Council of Canada.

“We readily acknowledge that the scale of the challenge is enormous,” the Council says in a major report released today. 

“But we are convinced that, with a supportive policy environment and sustained public and private investment, Canadians can look forward to a strong and vibrant economy that reaches the net-zero target by 2050.”

The report calls on the federal government to develop a clear, long-term, predictable emissions-reduction policy to enable businesses to plan for the transition. It also emphasizes the need to accelerate innovation in clean technology, not only to support Canada’s net-zero objectives but to help Canadians compete globally.

“There is an urgency to getting this right,” says Goldy Hyder, the Council’s President and CEO. “The private sector is ready to do its part, but all Canadians should understand that achieving net-zero will entail significant costs and changes to their daily lives. We need to start putting the key pieces in place now.”

Clean Growth 3.0: Achieving Canadian Prosperity in a Net-Zero World is the result of months of research and consultations with employers, environmental groups, policy makers and other stakeholders. The title is a reference to two ground-breaking reports – Clean Growth in 2007 and Clean Growth 2.0 in 2010 – in which the Council called for a coherent national plan on climate change, including a price on carbon.

Clean Growth 3.0 outlines six principles that will help Canada achieve net-zero:

  • Close cooperation between the public and private sectors to meet ambitious goals;
  • Long-term policy stability and clarity to incentivize widespread investment in existing and emerging clean technologies;
  • A recognition of the pivotal role Canada’s energy and resources sector will play in the transition – they have the people, the financial scale, and the technological capabilities the country will need;
  • Full transparency on the cost implications of Canada’s climate and energy policies;
  • Partnerships with Indigenous communities in the clean energy economy; and
  • Embracing climate resilience and adaptation strategies, including working with provincial and municipal governments to develop a robust climate change adaptation framework.