Canadian Institute for Climate Choices


The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices today released its timely report “Sink or Swim: Transforming Canada’s economy for a global low-carbon future” (the Report). The Report is the first of its kind in Canada and is critical in prudent planning in a rapidly changing global economy that directly affects Canadians, Canadian companies, and Canadian exports. The Report moves from qualitative transition paradigms and platitudes to quantified realities for Canadian business, workers, and communities as the world rapidly progresses in its transition to a decarbonized global economy. The key findings and recommendations of the Report follow.   Findings   Net zero emissions. The Report indicates growing support for net zero emissions by 2050, currently including economies representing over 60% of the world’s GDP and over 50% of global emissions, and that an ambitious low-carbon transition will cost less than inaction. We expect that number to increase dramatically at or around the upcoming UNFCCC COP26 negotiations during the first two weeks of November.   Canadian exports and jobs are at risk. Approximately 70% of Canadian exports and 60% of foreign direct investment come from transition-vulnerable sectors, with over 800,000 Canadian workers in these sectors. Alberta has the highest percentage of workers in transition-vulnerable sectors whereas Ontario has the highest absolute numbers in such sectors. Transition-vulnerable sectors include: mining and mineral products;  downstream and midstream oil and gas; auto manufacturing and parts; chemical, plastic, and rubber materials; airlines; oil and gas exploration and productions; and high-carbon power. Private finance. Canadian companies listed on the TSX are more exposed to transition risks than other major international stock markets and are facing a -14% market capitalization impact by 2050.   Transition opportunity. Industries best positioned to profit from the transition include those associated with biofuels, batteries and storage, fuel cells, and solar and wind equipment. The Report notes…