As a result of the Liberal party’s recent federal election win with a minority government, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has offered recommendations to move the building industry toward a low-carbon future.
“We were pleased to see that the Liberal government pledged to invest $100 million in skills training for energy audits, retrofits and net-zero construction, and to make large commercial buildings more energy efficient with a national competition to create four $100-million long-term funds. This will help attract private capital that can be used for deep retrofits of large buildings,” says CaGBC.
CaGBC suggests that the industry can help the new government reduce carbon, create jobs, spur economic growth, and deliver cost savings since Canada’s building stock contributes up to 17 per cent of green house gas (GHG) emissions.
The Council recommends that the government instruct the Canada Infrastructure Bank to include building retrofits as part of their infrastructure investment strategies through its Investor Confidence Project (ICP).
Research by CaGBC demonstrates that zero-carbon buildings are not only technologically feasible; they are also financially viable.
CaGBC encourages the federal government to continue constructing and operating new buildings as zero-carbon, by adopting CaGBC’s Zero-Carbon Building Standard for all new federal buildings, along with an updated LEED Platinum policy.
The organization states that open access data as demonstrated in its Disclosure Challenge can inform investment decisions resulting in both energy savings and billions of dollars in economic opportunity.
CaGBC proposes that the Liberal party should develop national building disclosure and benchmarking requirement guidelines, informed by industry and best practices or provide a nationally-based program that provinces or territories can join.
“We believe that Canada can compete in the global economy while re-affirming its commitment to lowering GHG emissions. Canada’s retrofit economy is well-positioned to provide significant new sources of carbon reduction in addition to wealth generation and job creation over the medium-term,” says CaGBC.