Three proposals for national action on climate change
Climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions presents unprecedented environmental challenges to any party that forms the government after the federal election on October 19.
REEP Green Solutions proposes three actions that, if implemented, effectively respond to climate change, stimulate the local economy and help Canadian homes thrive as they contribute to addressing environmental challenges.
We encourage all voters in Waterloo Region to question candidates about their support of these initiatives and use the answers to help determine their choice.
1. Implement an integrated climate action plan (across all sectors) that includes mitigation and adaptation.
- Federal government leadership on climate change will provide a foundation for provincial and municipal action on climate change.
- A national climate action plan is needed in order to set a vision, benchmarks and targets for Canada’s energy consumption and GHG emissions.
- A national Climate Action Plan will ensure the creation of policies, including a Home Energy Retrofit Incentive and Extreme Weather Resilience Planning, which will inform current and future decision-making to transition Canada to a sustainable future.
Extreme Weather Resilience Planning
2. Offer a Home Adaptation Audit Program to educate and encourage homeowners to become extreme weather-prepared.
- The frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events – from the floods in Southern Alberta and Toronto to the December ice storm in Central and Eastern Canada – are increasing, causing billions of dollars in damage to infrastructure, businesses and homeowners.
- Extreme weather has the potential to destabilize Canada’s housing market by making large portions of it uninsurable and thus ineligible for mortgages.
- The provision of adaptation experts trained to inspect a home for vulnerabilities and make recommendations would allow homeowners to make informed decisions about how to protect their home against extreme weather.
- “Preparing for climate change is non-negotiable if we are to avoid management-by-disaster scenarios. Extreme weather events will continue to increase in frequency and magnitude… Adaptation is the only means to avoid financial and social costs that will otherwise be borne by all levels of government, industry and consumers.” Blair Feltmate, Chair, Climate Adaptation. Project – Canada
Home Energy Efficiency
3. Implement a national home energy retrofit incentive program based on independent third party professional energy audits.
- The residential sector is a critical part of a national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategy:
- High initial investment costs threaten market-driven energy savings measures;
- an incentive spurs hesitant homeowners to action;
- and an audit prioritizes actions and verifies the results.
- An incentive is more effective in motivating home energy retrofits than a tax credit.
- An incentive program provides the foundation that provinces and municipalities can build on.