Policy update: Generating Growth from Innovation for the Low-carbon Economy

January 17th 2017

Following the landmark Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Canada has outlined a path forward to meet its 2030 emission reduction targets under the Paris Agreement as well as a Mid-Century Plan for a Clean Growth Economy.

Building early-stage innovation and accelerating the commercialization and growth of clean technology firms are integral features of the Framework.

In a new paper from the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Generating Growth from Innovation for the Low-Carbon Economy: Exploring Safeguards in Finance and Regulation, senior fellow Céline Bak highlights some of the existing barriers clean technology firms face when scaling their business and proposes four policy recommendations to maximize clean technology firms' contribution to climate change and job growth.

These recommendations include an innovative carbon emissions mitigation fund, sustainable finance performance warranty program, best global regulations for the low carbon economy and a sustainable infrastructure program.

Current projections suggest that Canada will miss its target by nearly 55%. Although the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change aims to reverse this trend, much work remains to build policies and market mechanisms that will help facilitate our transition to a low carbon economy.

Also, the Federal Government is now considering how to deploy $800 million to innovation clusters as part of its innovation strategy.  To be consistent with Canada's 2030 and 2050 climate plans, candidates for these clusters should be assessed on how their plans aligns with the priorities of Canadians on climate commitments and on health outcomes.  Doing so will result in less waste and will help to improve the productivity of the Canadian economy overall.

An update on another CIGI policy brief: Growth, Innovation and COP21:  The Case for New Investment in Innovative Infrastructure - policy makers are discussion what it will take to make Canada's infrastructure part of a low carbon future and what role innovation should play a role.

Next up:  To support the G20, over 80 people from 50 global think-tanks have signed up to work on the T20 Climate Policy and Finance Task Force.  By consensus, they have agreed to work together to provide policy guidance on Carbon Pricing, Growth and Innovation, Access to Green Finance, Sustainable Infrastructure and Global Energy Trade.

Policy and effective market making is patient work and progress is being made on many fronts! 

If you have an interest in policy and market making on any of the above themes, or have feedback on the CIGI policy papers, please let us know.