By Mitchell Beer, The Energy Mix
An array of new tax credits for clean energy development and a pledge to secure Canada’s place in a global green economy are at the centre of this year’s federal budget, released Tuesday afternoon by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, with an estimated $83 billion in multi-year funding for mostly clean energy technologies.
Still More Ground to Cover
Several other observers of the Canadian climate scene saw gaps in the government’s approach.
“Budget 2023 phases in the good and fails to phase out the bad,” said Climate Action Network-Canada Acting Executive Director Caroline Brouillette.
“Groundbreaking investments in clean electricity will build the grid of the future and provide Canadians with safer, cleaner, and more affordable energy—if underpinned by solid regulations and respect for Indigenous rights and sovereignty,” she added. But the budget “doesn’t show any progress towards fulfilling Canada’s promise to end fossil fuel subsidies this year,” and misses out on just transition/ sustainable job investments that would have reflected “an honest examination of the future of the oil and gas industry in this rapidly shifting global economy.”
“The support given to climate solutions is still a fraction of what is being spent on subsidizing the fossil fuels that are causing the climate emergency,” agreed Julia Levin, associate director, national climate at Environmental Defence Canada. “Carbon capture and hydrogen are great for greenwashing oil and gas, but they won’t deliver meaningful emissions reductions.”
Jamie Kneen, national program co-lead at Mining Watch Canada, warned that mining related to the energy transition “has to be done in the safest way possible. If Canada wants to claim leadership, instead of just shovelling money to mining companies, we need to improve regulation and enforcement.”
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