Pillars of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth & Climate Change

Jurisdictions across Canada recently announced their collective plan to grow the country’s economy, while reducing emissions and building resilience to adapt to a changing climate. The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change was adopted by all provinces and territories except for Saskatchewan.

The federal government has committed to ensuring that the provinces and territories have the flexibility to design their own policies and programs to meet emission-reductions targets, supported by federal investments in infrastructure, specific emission-reduction opportunities and clean technologies. This flexibility enables governments to move forward and to collaborate on shared priorities while respecting each jurisdiction’s needs and plans, including the need to ensure the continued competitiveness and viability of businesses.

The Framework builds on the leadership shown and actions taken individually and collectively by the provinces and territories, including through the Declaration of the Premiers adopted at the Québec Summit on Climate Change in 2015. It has four main, integrated pillars, which together form a comprehensive plan. The pillars are:

Pricing carbon pollution. Pricing carbon pollution is an efficient way to reduce emissions, drive innovation, and encourage people and businesses to pollute less. But relying on a carbon price alone to achieve Canada’s international target would require a very high price.

Complementary measures to further reduce emissions across the economy. Complementary climate actions can reduce emissions by addressing market barriers where pricing alone is insufficient or not timely enough to reduce emissions in the pre-2030 timeframe. For instance, tightening energy efficiency standards and codes for vehicles and buildings are common sense actions that reduce emissions, while also helping consumers save money by using less energy.

Measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change and build resilience. Canada is experiencing the impacts of climate change, so there’s also a need to adapt and build resilience, which means making sure that infrastructure and communities are adequately prepared for climate risks such as floods, wildfires, droughts, and extreme weather events, including in particularly vulnerable regions like Indigenous, northern, coastal, and remote communities, which also means adapting to the impacts of changes in temperature, including thawing permafrost.

Actions to accelerate innovation, support clean technology and create jobs. A low‑carbon economy can and will be a strong and thriving economy. Taking action now to position Canada as a global leader on clean technology innovation will help ensure it remains internationally competitive and will lead to the creation of new good jobs across the country. Investing in clean technology, innovation and jobs will bring new and in‑demand Canadian technologies to expanding global markets. These investments will help improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation measures and will equip Canada’s workforce with the knowledge and skills to succeed.

The Framework provides a foundation for working together to grow the economy, reduce emissions and strengthen resilience. Ongoing, collaborative action is needed to generate transformational change and to ensure that all Canadians benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy.

First step: Ministers are tasking their officials to develop an agenda for federal, provincial and territorial Ministers to implement this Plan. Annual reports to First Ministers will enable governments to take stock of progress and give direction to sustain and enhance efforts.