Thank you, esteemed committee members, for inviting Iron and Earth here today.
In 2021, 42% of Canada's greenhouse gases came from burning fossil fuels for transportation, agriculture, and building or water heating. In Canada's 2022 budget, the two big-ticket items are EVs and CCUS, with CCUS receiving almost four times more funding than clean-electricity initiatives.
Despite federal and provincial governments providing an estimated $5.8 billion for CCUS projects since 2000, CCUS captures only 0.05% of Canada's greenhouse gases. Canada's old energy systems are too centralized and not community focused. What Canada needs to do, instead, is simultaneously improve worker well-being and community resilience toward climate change through green housing initiatives, retrofits, community-distributed energy projects, and zero-emissions mobility.
Iron and Earth addresses these goals. Our programs have national reach, from traditional fossil fuel communities in Alberta to remote diesel-dependent communities in northern Labrador. Our programs are focused on community capacity and local, sustainable job creation, which empower workers to build and implement climate solutions.
The growth of a skills base to meet this challenge is critical, but it is a question of the distribution of these skills closer to the need and closer to home, and of them being available across the breadth of the nation. Currently, in spite of having the baseline skills and a desire to work in the net-zero economy, fossil fuel workers and indigenous communities lack opportunities to play a leading role in building the policy and infrastructure required to reach global climate targets.
The United States recently announced the Inflation Reduction Act, whereby, of the $158 billion going toward clean energy solutions, 48% goes toward home energy efficiencies and community resiliencies, whereas only 2.3% of that budget goes toward CCUS.
The solutions Canada needs in the energy transition exist here at home. I agree with my fellow speakers: We are rich in natural resources. We have solar, wind and geothermal. You name it, Canada has it. With a looming recession and Canadians worried about inflation and job stability, Canada should make investments that create projects across Canadian communities. Increasing local jobs and economies prevents a Canadian energy worker diaspora flying across the nation to work and builds resilience against the boom-bust cycles associated with the oil and gas export economy.
Canadians who have worked in the energy sector are mobile workers. Not only have we travelled across Canada for employment, but we have also used our highly sought-after skills internationally. Canada needs to create opportunities within its borders for these skilled energy workers to upskill to a clean economy, or it runs the very real risk of a clean energy skills drain, leaving the nation bereft of skilled workers and left behind in the energy transition.