Spending what it takes: 2024 update

March 13, 2024
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Click here to read the original report (2023) that this piece updates.

 With Canada’s federal budget just one month away, a new analysis from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac) finds that Canada still is not spending what it takes to respond to the climate crisis – but that effective, achievable solutions are at hand.

Federal climate spending will rise from 0.5 per cent of GDP today to 0.7 per cent over the next five years – still considerably below the 2 per cent target that experts believe is necessary to decarbonize the economy and compete in the global energy transition.

With cost-of-living and extreme weather events both on the rise, investing now in climate action is critical for long-term affordability.

CAN-Rac and CCPA highlight three practical steps that the federal government can take in Budget 2024 to address immediate affordability concerns and bring tangible benefits while cutting emissions:

  • Expand the heat pump affordability program to lower energy bills, improve households’ quality of life, and cut emissions from buildings;

  • Establish a youth climate corps to fill skills shortages while bridging youth into good green jobs; and

  • Extend the windfall profits tax to the oil and gas sector, to ensure that polluters pay their fair share, as countries such as the UK have done, which could raise $4.2 billion or more.

All of these measures are popular: there is more interest in heat pumps than ever, while recent polls have found that 78 per cent of Canadians support or can accept a Youth Climate Corps, and that 62 per cent agree with a windfall tax on oil and gas companies’ record profits.

This report was published in collaboration with Climate Action Network - Reseau Action Climat Canada