Mr. Speaker, the economy and the environment go hand in hand. We say it often enough, and it is certainly true.
Until now, the global pursuit of economic growth has too often come at the cost of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil where we grow our food. Today, we better understand that if we are to leave behind a better future for our children and our grandchildren, we must not only be sound economic managers, but also stewards of our environment.
Our government has a long-term economic plan. We are doing what optimistic and ambitious countries do. We are investing in our people, in our communities, and in our economy. It is a plan that is showing early signs of progress. Unemployment is down, jobs are being created at a rate not seen in over a decade, yet there is still much work to be done.
We want to grow our economy sustainably and well into the future. That means making sure that the benefits and the growth are shared by the middle class and those working hard to join it. It means making sure that everyone pays their fair share. It means making sure that the economic growth we create does not leave us without clean air to breathe, clean water to drink or good food to eat.
Luckily we do not have to choose between the economy and the environment. In fact, more and more we are realizing the potential in flipping this relationship on its head. where environmental sustainability drives our economy forward.
That is why as Minister of Finance, I am fully committed to creating the conditions for Canada to thrive in a low-carbon economy. Climate change is not just a challenge; it is an opportunity. However, to seize the opportunity, we need to be strategic. We need to be thinking about the long term. That means working with provinces and territories through the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, to take coordinated action to move Canada toward a low-carbon economy.
Pollution is not free. As of now, most of the world agrees that the most effective and efficient means of addressing this issue is carbon pricing. This sends an important signal to the market, and it promotes the reduction of energy consumption as a result of conservation measures and energy efficiency, by allowing the use of alternative fuels and technological advances. This is why a central pillar of our pan-Canadian framework is the adoption, in all the regions of Canada, of a carbon pricing mechanism by the year 2018. The exact design has to be determined by each provincial government, based on what works best for their own province.
The government proposes that in jurisdictions with a direct carbon tax, the price should start at a minimum of $10 per tonne in 2018, rising by $10 each year to $50 per tonne in 2022. Jurisdictions with a cap and trade system, like Ontario and Quebec, will need to set their annual caps to achieve at least the same amount of emissions reductions that would result in the carbon price in a price-based system.
Cap and trade systems will also need a 2030 emissions reduction target equal to or greater than Canada's 30% reduction target.
By contrast, British Columbia chose a revenue neutral carbon tax. It was the first. That was nine years ago. Today, B.C. has one of the strongest provincial economies in the country. The sky has not fallen in B.C. Carbon pricing has not gridlocked its industry. Nor has it destroyed its competitiveness. British Columbia's approach sets a transparent and predictable carbon tax while returning all revenue to B.C. individuals and businesses.
The price signal creates a real incentive to reduce emissions across the economy. In fact, during the period of 2008-2015, the net benefit to taxpayers in British Columbia was $1.6 billion. This is why I have so little time for the criticisms regarding our plan to fight climate change and be leaders in the low carbon economy, and I know we will hear many of those arguments here today. However, we need to remember that these critiques are based on ideology, not facts. The facts are clear and they support our evidence-based approach.
By establishing carbon pricing, for the first time, we receive incentives based on the market, which are necessary for encouraging more environmental activities and low-carbon innovation. For those who wish to receive an example in real time of the strong market for this kind of thing, I need only mention the $500 U.S. green bond issued by Export Development Canada, its third and largest to date.
The products of this green bond will support the portfolio of green assets of Export Development Canada, including loans made to companies who are active in the fields of preservation, protection, or remediation of air, water, and soil, the creation of renewable energy, and the mitigation of climate change.
Therefore, the demand is clear, and we certainly have a solution. It is time we seized this opportunity.
We seize that opportunity by fostering innovation. We have to find new, innovative and efficient way of producing energy, generating electricity, and powering our businesses, homes and cars. Our government has a fundamental role to play here.
Around the world, countries are now investing in clean energy more than in fossil fuels. Companies are choosing non-polluting options as they produce and sell their products. They are making their operations more efficient. They are putting bold ideas into action, creating new jobs and opportunities in the process.
Global demand for these clean technologies is on the rise. Employment in our clean technology sector could increase to 76,000 over the next five years. There is an opportunity for Canada to get a bigger share of the rapidly growing global market for clean energy and innovative solutions to reduce pollution, and to position Canada as a world leader in a low carbon global economy.
Developments over the past decades have led to innovations in non-polluting technologies, such as wind, solar and geothermal energy production. In 2015, over $300 billion was invested globally in renewable power. That is almost double the amount invested in traditional sources. China alone is forecast to spend close to $350 billion on non-polluting electricity by 2020.
Clean energy is growing faster than ever. Since 2000, the amount of global electricity produced by solar power doubled seven times. Wind power doubled four times.
In the United States, as reported by its department of energy, more people were employed in solar power last year than in generating electricity through coal, gas and oil energy combined. Just under 374,000 people were employed in solar energy, while coal, gas and oil powered generation combined had a workforce of slightly more than 187,000 people. The boom in the country's solar workforce can be attributed to construction work associated with expanding generation capacity.
The gulf in employment is growing, with net generation from coal falling 53% over the last decade. During the same period, electricity generation from natural gas increased 33%, while solar expanded 5,000%.
Some countries, such as Costa Rica, are rapidly advancing toward consuming energy produced entirely from renewable sources. Very soon, solar roof shingles will power our homes with energy. More and more cars, buses, and trains will run on electricity. Electricity is also supplied to coastal communities through underwater rotary turbines that operate with rising and falling tides, such as those in the Minas Basin and the Bay of Fundy, which are currently in operation.
Canada has the talent and ingenuity to lead the world, tackle the world's challenges, and turn them into middle-class jobs and sustainable economic growth. Canada is already home to more than 800 clean technology companies, led by innovative entrepreneurs developing technologies like advanced batteries for use in electric vehicles, and employing more Canadians than any other key sectors like forestry or pharmaceuticals.
The clean technology industry in Canada employs about 55,000 people, including a large and increasing number of young Canadians. Take, for example, CRB Innovations, based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, that uses plants to make jet fuel that produces less pollution. Look at Siemens that started Canada's first wind turbine plant in Tillsonburg, Ontario, and now employs about 300 people. This is what we mean when we talk about the jobs of the future.
This is only the beginning. Creating solutions that reduce pollution, from batteries for electric cars to capturing carbon pollution from factories, could add thousands of jobs in the next few years. We need top-notch scientists, skilled workers, and trail-blazing entrepreneurs with new ideas to create and bring products to market. There will be new construction and manufacturing jobs as we make our buildings more efficient and modernize our electricity system.
Canada's industries will thrive as they find better and cleaner ways of working. Millions of Canadians will reap the rewards, not just of the jobs and opportunity innovation brings but of the cleaner, stronger, more resilient environment.
As Minister of Finance, I am fully committed to putting Canada in the best position to capitalize on the clean growth opportunity. That is why budget 2017 put Canada's skilled, talented, and creative people at the heart of a more innovative future economy, one that would create middle-class jobs today and tomorrow. We have made big bets on key sectors of our economy, where we have succeeded in the past and where we know we can lead in the future. Clean tech and clean resources are at the top of the list, along with agrifood, digital industries, health biosciences, and advanced manufacturing.
Through budget 2017, we continue to make investments in research and development, as well as in businesses seeking to bring these new ideas to the market. We are working with stakeholders and partners to develop a comprehensive clean technology strategy. This strategy would identify innovation opportunities, set ambitious growth targets, pinpoint sector-specific challenges and bottlenecks to innovation, and help innovators achieve their targets.
Our plan will include an international business development strategy to help Canadian clean energy companies to become world leaders and take advantage of the opportunities in the expanding global marketplace.
We are also developing a clean technology data strategy to promote innovation, develop knowledge in the private sector and stakeholder communities, and help the government make informed decisions in the future.
Lastly, we will establish a clean growth hub, which will be part of Innovation Canada's single-window service, with the goal of improving federal program coordination, enabling tracking and reporting on clean technology results across government, and helping stakeholders access international markets.
Supporting clean technologies will help position Canada to take advantage of opportunities in the new global economy by diversifying our economy and opening access to new markets.
For clean tech firms to really take off, they need access to capital and financing. That is why budget 2017 proposes to make available nearly $1.4 billion in new financing through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. This includes $380 million in equity financing to support clean technology firms, $570 million in working capital to support clean technology firms, and approximately $450 million in additional project finance for high capital intensive clean technology firms.
We are also taking steps to incentivize clean tech innovation in Canada's vital natural resources sector. Budget 2017 will invest $200 million over four years in Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support clean technology research, development, and demonstration and the adoption of clean technology in Canada's natural resource sectors.
In addition, the government will lead by example, demonstrating leadership and showing that these technologies work and change things, by using them in its own operations. For example, by 2025, all electricity used in Public Services and Procurement Canada facilities will come from clean energy sources.
Around the world, leaders from government and businesses are united in their desire to work together on one of the great challenges of our time. The Paris agreement, negotiated by 195 countries, sent an important signal to the market. In fact, according to the International Finance Corporation, it has opened up $23 trillion in clean innovation opportunities for climate-smart investments in emerging markets between now and 2030.
Canada remains steadfast in our commitment to work with all our global partners to address climate change and to promote clean growth. It is the right thing to do for future generations and will create good jobs as we grow a clean economy. That is why Canada will continue to take leadership on climate change. In September, we will co-host a ministerial meeting with China and the European Union in Canada to move forward on the Paris agreement in clean growth, and as host of next year's G7 meetings, members can be sure that climate change and clean energy will be top of mind.
We understand the huge economic opportunity of clean growth. We want to leave a cleaner and healthier planet to our children and grandchildren.
In the wake of floods, droughts, forest fires, and the melting Arctic ice, Canadians are seeing the very real effects of climate change in our country, and they understand the need to take action in order to leave a sustainable world to future generations.
We will continue to take advantage of the $23-trillion clean growth opportunity. Businesses in Canada and around the world are investing in clean innovation, from renewable energy to zero-emission vehicles to energy-saving technologies. They understand that tackling climate change is not only the right thing to do but is good for business. Together with provinces and cities, we will create the clean-growth economy necessary for the collective health, prosperity, and security of this generation of Canadians and the next. It is about creating opportunity and building confidence in the middle class by finding new, sustainable ways to drive our economy forward, never losing sight of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.