Good evening, Chair. I thank you and fellow members of the committee so much for having me.
I'd like to begin by acknowledging that we are meeting here on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin Anishinabe territory.
Climate Action Network Canada is the largest network of organizations working on climate and energy issues in the country. For 30 years we have been the only national organization with a mandate to promote the interests of the climate movement as a whole. Rather than any one individual organization, we have 120 member organizations across the country, working from coast to coast to coast. While climate action networks exist all over the world, Canada's is uniquely diverse in that we bring together in our membership environmental NGOs; trade unions; first nations; social justice, environmental, development and humanitarian organizations; youth groups; and health groups and faith groups. It makes for a very rich dialogue in the membership.
Our members collectively represent millions of Canadian member supporters and volunteers. In fact, you've already heard from several Climate Action Network Canada members over the course of these proceedings, including the Assembly of First Nations, Clean Energy Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the other 21 members of the Green Budget Coalition. I will be drawing your attention back to some of their recommendations throughout my remarks.
Climate and biodiversity emergencies touch on all aspects of life in society, exacerbating existing inequalities, social injustices and economic hardships, so budget 2020 and all future budgets must take a really multi-faceted approach to addressing environmental challenges and take advantage of the opportunities associated with environmental action.
The three areas of intervention on which I want to focus my comments today are Canadians' everyday lives, Canada's institutional and fiscal frameworks for climate action, and Canada's role in the world.
The story of climate change is fundamentally a human story. We often hear people speak about saving the planet or protecting a particular species that is in peril, and these are of course very noble and necessary motivations, but my motivation comes from acknowledging the fact that climate change poses a real threat to the people in the communities that I care about.
At this point in human history, taking action on climate change is essential to caring about the people that I love. For Canadians to get on board with climate action, they have to see that action touching and improving their lives and the lives of the people they care about. That's why, when considering budget 2020, it's essential to reflect on the recommendations made by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the mayor of London, from whom you heard recently, and other municipal leaders who have come before you. Cities are really on the front line of climate change, and municipal governments are the order of government that most Canadians interact with most closely.
With 493 municipalities declaring a climate emergency in the last couple of years, it is clear that resources have to flow to these governments to develop and effectively implement climate change action plans.
The cities caucus of Climate Action Network Canada is a working group of about 20 of our municipally focused member organizations. It recommends that the federal government work to empower local governments to take climate action by providing directed financial resources to municipalities, tying this funding to eco-fiscal policy implementation, and requiring full life-cycle climate tests on expenditures. Second, it recommends incentivizing municipalities to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 by covering the costs of conducting emissions inventories, developing best practices for real-time GHG measurement, and providing guidelines to identify low-carbon jobs and encourage growth in those sectors.
Recommendations from the Insurance Bureau of Canada on flood plain mapping are also really an essential piece of this puzzle, as are investments in public transportation, electric buses, electric vehicles, building retrofits and green infrastructure, as you heard from Clean Energy Canada and the Green Budget Coalition.
Having just left 400 people gathered at Canada's first nature-based climate solutions summit at the National Arts Centre, it's very clear to me how essential it is to invest in work that lives at that intersection of climate and ecosystem protection.
Twenty per cent of Canadian renewable energy projects are owned, at least in part, by indigenous communities. Indigenous leadership has always been at the forefront of Canada's environmental action, and the climate crisis is really no exception.
As Chief Ghislain Picard highlighted yesterday, indigenous community housing is in critical need of investment in Canada, and that investment can help communities be more resilient and prosperous.
When it comes to Canada's institutional and financial frameworks for climate action, let me state the obvious. If we're going to seriously invest in the solutions, we need to stop investing in the problem. It is essential that Canada follow through with its G7 commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, and beyond dealing with domestic subsidies, Canada needs to deal with the fact that we continue to fund fossil fuel development via Export Development Canada. While EDC has committed to reducing the carbon intensity of its portfolio, Canada, alongside just three other countries—Japan, Korea and China—has substantially funded fossil fuel development abroad using its export credit agencies.
Just to give an example, Canada, from 2012 to 2017, facilitated 12 times more investment for oil and gas projects than what they classify as clean-tech projects. That's a $62-billion investment in oil and gas projects versus a $5-billion investment in clean-tech projects.
Many witnesses have mentioned the good work of the panel on sustainable finance. We, too, support its work and encourage the committee to consider the potential to support the work of the Institute for Sustainable Finance, which brings together more than 20 academic and private sector institutions with the goal of aligning mainstream financial markets with Canada's transition to a prosperous, sustainable economy.
Finally on this point, budget 2020 must necessarily provide resources for regulatory and legislative processes related to Canada's legislation for net zero by 2050 and the development of a just transition act, both of which were promised in the current governing party's election platform.
The year 2020 is also a big year for the Paris Agreement. It is the moment when Paris Agreement parties are welcomed back to the table to review their Paris pledge and improve upon that pledge, and so the revision and enhancement of our climate commitments is essential in 2020. We have missed every single climate target we have set in this country since the early nineties, and so let's make sure we never miss another one.