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Framing the Future: Embracing the Low-Carbon Economy

Framing the Future: Embracing the Low-Carbon Economy

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National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (2012 Report)

Framing the Future: Embracing the Low-Carbon Economy outlines the potential economic opportunity for Canada as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. It emphasizes Canada’s existing strengths and identifies areas for action aimed at developing a strong, resilient, and less carbon-intensive Canadian economy.

A low-carbon economy is no longer a concept of the future. Governments around the world are moving ahead, and a number of jurisdictions already have formal low-carbon growth plans in place. Our research and convening led to a clear conclusion: Canada is well positioned to thrive in a low-carbon context but needs to act now to maximize the potential benefits. While governments need to put in place the conditions that will stimulate innovation, mobilize investment, enhance market access, and foster talent and skills development, private interests need to drive the process, engage with governments, and play a leadership role in developing a vision for Canada’s low-carbon future.

Framing the Future: Embracing the Low-Carbon Economy outlines a low-carbon growth framework for Canada, highlighting the policy directions our leaders in public and private sectors need to pursue. Canada’s low-carbon future is about energy, innovation, and trade. To get there Canada needs to ensure adequate flows of investment, strengthen its governance and ensure it has the human capital to successfully pull off the transition. The task is not a small one, but one Canadians must collectively pursue to prosper in the twenty-first century.
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (2012 Report)

Framing the Future: Embracing the Low-Carbon Economy outlines the potential economic opportunity for Canada as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. It emphasizes Canada’s existing strengths and identifies areas for action aimed at developing a strong, resilient, and less carbon-intensive Canadian economy.

A low-carbon economy is no longer a concept of the future. Governments around the world are moving ahead, and a number of jurisdictions already have formal low-carbon growth plans in place. Our research and convening led to a clear conclusion: Canada is well positioned to thrive in a low-carbon context but needs to act now to maximize the potential benefits. While governments need to put in place the conditions that will stimulate innovation, mobilize investment, enhance market access, and foster talent and skills development, private interests need to drive the process, engage with governments, and play a leadership role in developing a vision for Canada’s low-carbon future.

Framing the Future: Embracing the Low-Carbon Economy outlines a low-carbon growth framework for Canada, highlighting the policy directions our leaders in public and private sectors need to pursue. Canada’s low-carbon future is about energy, innovation, and trade. To get there Canada needs to ensure adequate flows of investment, strengthen its governance and ensure it has the human capital to successfully pull off the transition. The task is not a small one, but one Canadians must collectively pursue to prosper in the twenty-first century.

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08/01/2013

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FIGURE 22

Climate-Friendly Exports

US

Rest of World

Other Top 10

Climate-Friendly Trade-Balance

Climate-Friendly Net-Imports

ll It should be noted that overall Canada’s trading partners are not making extensive use of tariffs as tools of green industrial policy; however, Canada’s use of such

mechanisms is even more limited.

mm The discussion on trade-related policy primarily draws from an IISD report (Cosbey, Stiebert, and Dion 2012) commissioned by the NRT.

nn As an exception to this rule, on May 17th

2012, the U.S. imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties ranging from 31% to 250% on Chinese manufactured solar

cells after ruling these products were sold below cost (Nicola 2012).

oo The Canadian Cleantech Coalition has developed a detailed proposal for export credit financing for the cleantech sector (Canadian Cleantech Coalition 2012).

Canada is failing to capitalize fully on the opportunity to sell its low-carbon services in global markets.275

Analysis of 45 climate-friendly commodity groups shows an overall negative trade balance of $3 billion for

Canada. Exports amount to roughly $3.8 billion and imports roughly $6.8 billion net of re-exports (see

Figure 22). Canada’s trade balance is positive for only 13 of the 45 climate-friendly commodities listed,

and for 15 categories, net imports exceed domestic exports by a factor greater than 3:1.276

The country’s

low-carbon export activity is stagnant, at best.277

Adjusting for inflation, Canada’s exports of low-carbon

technologies declined by 2% annually on average over 2002 and 2008.278

Over the same period, the global

low-carbon market experienced 10% annual compound growth and, with the exception of the U.K., the

top 10 global exporters of low-carbon technologies experienced annual growth in excess of 5%.279

0152 // NATIONAL ROUND TABLE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE ECONOMY
152 // NATIONAL ROUND TABLE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE ECONOMY

PREFERENTIAL
TAX TREATMENT

EXPORT CREDIT

GRANTS

SOFT LOANS

R&D SUPPORT

FEED-IN-TARIFFS
(FIT)

SUBSIDY TYPE

NOTABLE COUNTRY
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