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Eleven organizations submit letter to Canadian government on climate change


August 9, 2016
by Canadian Architect

Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis, FlickR/Creative Commons. https://flic.kr/p/5mFADJ

Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis, FlickR/Creative Commons. https://flic.kr/p/5mFADJ

Eleven organizations representing energy and building professionals, associations, nonprofits and businesses have released an open letter to the Canadian government.

The letter, which includes over a dozen recommendations for the pan-Canadian climate framework, notes:

“In Canada, the total energy consumption of homes and buildings accounts for nearly a quarter of our national GHG emissions. In order for Canada to achieve its 2030 climate target under the Paris Agreement and its longer-term decarbonization goals, we must significantly reduce emissions of existing buildings and ensure that new buildings are designed for ultra low emissions. We believe that the buildings sector offers, to policy makers, some of the lowest cost, most rapidly achievable GHG reductions.”

Organized by the Pembina Institute, Toronto Atmospheric Fund and Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, the letter is addressed to Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna. Participating organizations include the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Passive House Canada and the Council for Clean Capitalism.

Key recommendations include:

  • A national plan that sets the stage for deep energy retrofits (energy reductions of 25 per cent to 50 per cent) of 30 per cent of the building stock by 2030.
  • All new construction to be nearly zero energy by 2030.
  • Facilitating universal access for homeowners, building operators, and authorized third parties to secure, convenient and consistent online utility consumption data.
  • Reforming tax policy to stimulate investment in efficiency. (For example, tax credits and federal changes to deductibility rules can be used to stimulate retrofitting.)
  • Requiring new publicly-owned buildings to be built to nearly zero energy, effective in 2017.
  • Upgrade public buildings through deep energy retrofits at a rate that reduces total federal building emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

You can find the full letter here: http://www.pembina.org/pub/bold-plan-for-buildings