Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Good afternoon to the committee members.
CEA, the Canadian Electricity Association, is the national voice of electricity. Our members operate in every province and territory. The association includes generation, transmission and distribution companies.
Canada's electricity system employs 81,000 Canadians. We contribute $30 billion to Canada's GDP. Indirectly, our sector supports every job and industry in Canada. Electricity is the foundation of the modern economy. It's also at the heart of Canada's transition to low carbon. Over 80% of Canada's electricity generation is already non-emitting, making it one of the cleanest grids in the world. In fact, the Canadian electricity sector has already reduced GHG emissions by more than 40% since 2005.
The availability of clean, reliable power will play an essential role as Canada begins to decarbonize through electrification. Our sector is uniquely positioned to help advance Canada's clean energy future and meet climate commitments in 2030, 2050 and beyond. In fact, CEA released a list of actions for achieving net-zero carbon emissions, which we've provided to the clerk for your reference.
Electrification of vehicles will play an important part in Canada's reaching its climate change targets. Light-duty vehicles represent 12% of Canada's overall GHG emissions, and with focused action we believe that we can reduce that to near zero. But to do so, there are several actions that governments must take. We believe that the government has done a good job thus far in encouraging EV adoption by providing purchase incentives and charging infrastructure. The electricity sector supports these measures wholeheartedly. Electricity companies have been active participants in building charging in and between communities.
Alas, it's not enough to just help people buy EVs and to install more chargers. These might be the exciting visible parts, but we can't forget about the foundations of the system. For EVs, that means modernizing the rules around electricity metering and making sure that the distribution infrastructure can support this growth. Canada's legislation on electricity metering dates from before the Internet, basically since the last time we had a Prime Minister Trudeau. As written now, overly prescriptive acts such as the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act stifle innovative metering technology, and in turn they impede the commercial deployment of technologies dependent upon these. Outdated metering legislation holds back further deployment of charging infrastructure in public and in multi-residential dwellings.
We have to ensure that the grid is ready for electric vehicles. It's not so much a question of making sure there's enough electricity. In fact, EV charging offers the opportunity to take advantage of power surpluses overnight and at other peak times, but at the hyperlocal level, an increase in EVs will need to be supported by upgrades to the local distribution infrastructure, such as feeders and transformers. Even a handful of EVs on a single street could require upgrades beyond what is currently in place.
I've talked about light-duty cars and trucks, and while electrification of these vehicles would represent a substantial carbon reduction, they are only part of Canada's transportation sector. Other parts—long distance trucking, marine uses and aviation—seem to require solutions other than batteries, and hydrogen may be a solution for these functions. Canada's electricity sector looks forward to the upcoming release of Canada's hydrogen strategy. Our sector is optimistic about the opportunity of low- or no-carbon hydrogen to reduce emissions. From our perspective, hydrogen made with non-emitting electricity is basically electrification.
Thank you for the opportunity to be with the committee today.