Without a doubt, the 2020 year-end was marked by several ambitious government announcements aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A few days after the provincial government announced its 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, tabled the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, whose goal is a net-zero economy by 2050 (Bill C-12). The Bill sets out rolling five-year emissions-reduction targets. It will oblige the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to report to Parliament regarding:
- credible, science-based emissions-reduction plans to achieve the targets
- interim progress reports on ongoing implementation and effectiveness of the plans
- final assessment reports to indicate whether targets have been met.
The government also released its Healthy Environment and Healthy Economy Plan. It outlines means of achievingenvironmental objectives while respecting the economic aspirations of the federal government. Certain elements of the Plan could have an impact on the real estate sector, namely:
- An increase in the federal carbon tax on fuels, rising from $15 per tonne in 2023 to $170 per tonne in 2030, which will have a significant on the cost of fossil fuels.
- An investment of $2 billion to finance commercial and large-scale building retrofits, an investment that will be offset by subsequent savings in energy costs. This commitment is part of the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s $10 billion Growth Plan.
- Collaboration with provincial and territorial governments to develop a new model “retrofit” code for net-zero energy consumption by 2030.
Lastly, the City of Montreal announced its Climate Plan 2020-2030, whose objective is to reach carbon neutrality for allmunicipal buildings and new buildings by 2030, and for all existing buildings by 2050. The 46 measures of the Plan include:
- replacing heating oil systems in buildings.
- adapting regulations and support programs so as to increase the energy efficiency and resilience of all types of buildings.
- upgrading the energy performance of large buildings by means of a system of rating and reporting energy consumption and GHG emissions.
- Launch of Plan for a Green Economy, Défi énergie en immobilier
- Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act
- Healthy Environment and Healthy Economy Plan
- Climate Plan 2020-2030, City of Montreal