The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of Canadian life, with the global economic shutdown and tremendous personal sacrifice from people doing their best to keep themselves – and each other – safe.
As our collective efforts begin to pay off, governments are focusing on kick-starting economies and getting people back to work.
Stimulus can address immediate employment needs while creating the conditions for sustained environmental, economic and social success.
Pollution Probe has devoted over 50 years to fighting for the environment through evidence-based collaborative efforts with industry, government and civil society. It is critical that Canada resists the temptation to roll back hard-won environmental gains that have made Canada healthier, prosperous and more resilient. Protecting the health of Canadians must remain a top concern now and into the future.
Data suggests that the COVID-19 shutdown will result in approximately a 5% reduction in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2020 – the most significant annual GHG drop to date. However, we know that to meet our 2050 GHG emissions targets, we must reduce global emissions by over 7.5% per year. This gives us some idea of the scale of climate change efforts needed to achieve 2050 GHG reduction targets, and we need to make sure that this effort is economically sustainable.
We believe that an economic stimulus package should be based on three fundamental principles:
- Rebuild: Action for the short-term, while positioning for our long-term success
- Refocus: Aligning efforts with our 2050 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions targets
- Renew: Developing flexibility and resiliency to meet changing needs and emerging challenges