What lies ahead for Canada's economy as it seeks to reduce carbon emissions
Author: Gabriel Friedman
Fossil fuels have sometimes been described as the lifeblood of our economy: They power cars and various modes of transportation, electricity and so much more. So it’s not surprising that carbon emissions often serve as a proxy for economic growth: But on this week’s Down to Business, Dave Sawyer, principal economist at the Canadian Climate Institute, said this country is reaching an inflection point in which carbon emissions and economic growth are decoupling. In 2021, Canada’s carbon emissions grew, but not as fast as the economy, according to Sawyer, who added that carbon intensity here — a ratio of emissions and GDP activity — declined by about two per cent. Although declining carbon intensity is good news, Sawyer said Canada needs to move much faster on emissions reductions in order to meet its 2030 climate targets. Michael Bernsteinm, executive director of Clean Prosperity, an independent think tank, looked more closely on what lies ahead for Canada as it seeks to reduce emissions. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. is plowing money into the energy transition, and Canada needs to rethink how it can compete for low-carbon investment, Bernstein said.