Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Pontiac.
It is an honour to rise today to speak to the ratification of the Paris agreement and the economic opportunities for Canada. Addressing climate change must transcend politics. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to work on this together, all countries, all levels of government, all parties. Doing nothing is not an option.
Through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, our government worked hard helping to create an agreement to reduce our global emissions and to mitigate the impact that climate change has on those most vulnerable in our world.
Canadians should be proud of the positive role their country has played in the international negotiations. In December 2015, 197 countries representing 98% of global GHG emissions signed on to the agreement, highlighting that the world is taking action to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. Many countries, including Canada, are in the process of taking the necessary steps for the agreement to come into force as soon as possible.
The Government of Canada embraces the fact that, in the 21st century, growing our economy and protecting our environment go hand in hand. Taking action on climate change provides economic opportunities while maintaining a sustainable environment and thriving communities in Canada.
The world is shifting to clean technologies and deploying clean energy faster than ever before. Due to sustained technological progress, the costs for renewable energy have been falling significantly over time and have become cost-competitive with those of fossil fuels in certain regions. Technological improvements to energy storage have also been gaining momentum, which will facilitate wider deployment of renewable energy.
Clean technologies can also create new opportunities for traditional resource sectors in Canada and will provide new employment opportunities. Focusing Canada's efforts on science skills, business leadership, technical skills, and immigration of highly qualified workers will be paramount to accessing these opportunities.
As an example of the magnitude of these opportunities, the International Energy Agency estimates that the full implementation of climate pledges at Paris would require the energy sector to invest $13.5 trillion in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies from 2015 to 2030.
The year 2015 saw a record investment of $329 billion in the global clean energy sector, up from $62 billion in 2004. The clean technology sector is already an important contributor to Canada's economy. Around 50,000 people are directly employed in more than 800 firms in the Canadian clean technology sector, and the Canadian clean technology sector grew by about 8% per year from 2008 to 2013, which is more than three times as fast as the economy as a whole. During that same period the global market grew at an even faster rate of 10%, suggesting that Canada has opportunity for further growth if it can keep up with the progress being made by other countries.
In March 2016, the Prime Minister and the provincial and territorial first ministers signed on to the Vancouver declaration. The Vancouver declaration entailed several commitments from first ministers, including the implementation of GHG mitigation policies in support of meeting or exceeding Canada's 2030 target of a 30% reduction below 2005 levels of emission, including specific provincial and territorial targets and objectives; an increase in the level of ambition of environmental policies over time; the promotion of clean, economic growth to create jobs; and an enhanced co-operation between provinces, territories, and the federal government.
In delivering concrete results to Canadians, the Vancouver declaration also established a pan-Canadian framework for combatting climate change, under which four working groups were put in place to identify options for action in four areas, including clean technology. One of these federal-provincial-territorial working groups focuses on clean technology, innovation, and jobs, and will deliver options on how to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and drive innovation across all sectors to transition to a low-carbon economy, leveraging regional strengths.
We are looking forward to the final report, which will be published this fall, providing policy options for federal, provincial, and territorial partners to implement in their respective jurisdictions. This report highlights the strong potential to improve environmental, economic, and social outcomes for remote and indigenous communities to work toward energy independence through greater deployment of clean technologies. It is also important that these new approaches to encourage clean growth across the country should not result in higher costs for essential goods and services in those remote areas.
It is recognized that the adoption of clean technology can be a tool that will both improve the environment and provide economic opportunities to northern and remote indigenous communities, which can act as agents of change to help guide Canada to a low carbon economy. We also recognize the utmost importance of effective engagement and collaboration with indigenous peoples and communities for this effort to be fruitful.
While work is under way to develop options and measures this fall through the pan-Canadian framework, the federal government is already taking action to seize the economic opportunities of climate change.
Budget 2016 recognized that protecting the environment and growing the economy go hand in hand. It noted that the global clean technology market is growing rapidly, presenting Canadian businesses with an immense opportunity to showcase their ingenuity and support sustainable prosperity for all Canadians.
The commitments included in budget 2016 total almost $2.9 billion over five years to address climate change and air pollution issues. These commitments include $2 billion over two years starting in 2017-18 to establish the low carbon economy fund; $128.8 million over five years starting in 2016-17 to Natural Resources Canada to deliver energy efficiency policies and programs and maintain clean energy policy capacity; and $56.9 million over two years starting in 2016-17 to Transport Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to support the transition to a cleaner transportation sector, including through the development of regulations and standards for clean transportation technology.
It is well understood that climate change is a threat to Canada's ecosystems, communities, and the economy. Given the seriousness of climate change, action from all sectors of the economy is required, and the shift of businesses decarbonizing their processes and products has already begun.
It is important for Canada to act quickly to enable a smoother transition, allowing businesses to take the best long-term decisions and thrive in a low-carbon economy. One key measure to provide this clear signal to businesses about the path Canada wants to take when it comes to GHG emissions is carbon pricing. Carbon pricing uses the market to drive investments in low-carbon innovations, leading to the development and adoption of clean technologies, energy efficiency, and reduced emissions. It creates financial incentives for consumers and producers to shift consumption and investment decisions to cleaner alternatives, which consequently foster innovation. A national approach to carbon pricing will be a central component to the pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change.
It is clear that there are economic benefits to acting on climate change, and Canada has significant advantages and the expertise it can leverage to capture its share. It can count on some of the best scientists and researchers in the world to find novel solutions. It has a well-educated and highly skilled workforce.
As many countries are moving rapidly to develop and sell clean technologies across the globe, Canada needs to focus its efforts to stay in the game. To successfully compete in the global market while capitalizing on current and future economic opportunities, Canada will need to be strategic in its approach to clean technology development, commercialization, and adoption. This will allow economic growth and environmental preservation to go hand in hand and will allow all Canadians to continue to enjoy a country that is sustainable, prosperous, and innovative.