Emissions Reduction Plan


The Minister of Natural Resources (the Minister) yesterday announced the launching of a public engagement process for the proposed Canada Green Buildings Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy will aim to mobilize national action to reduce emissions by 37 percent from 2005 by 2030 and create a net-zero-emissions buildings sector by 2050. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has also published a companion discussion paper outlining the scope and key themes of the proposed Strategy (the Discussion Paper). This bulletin briefly summarizes the Discussion Paper and provides important details regarding the public engagement process.   The Minister’s announcement noted that the Strategy will focus on (i) increasing the rate of building retrofits, (ii) ensuring buildings are resilient and net-zero-ready from the start, and (iii) transforming space and water heating. In addition, the Strategy will be backed by a $150 million commitment made in Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan (read our earlier bulletin here).   The Discussion Paper provides the following three potential outcomes for the Strategy to reach the net-zero target for Canada’s building sector: Build net-zero carbon and climate-resilient from the start. The Discussion Paper provides that Canada must ensure that new buildings achieve the highest levels of energy, carbon performance, and climate resiliency. To achieve this, all new buildings must (i) be net-zero carbon-ready no later than 2032 and (ii) conform to the latest applicable codes, standards, and guidelines for climate resilience no later than 2030. Increase the rate of deep, climate-resilient building retrofits. The Discussion Paper provides that the majority of buildings will still be in use in 30 years and that this will require retrofitting all existing buildings and taking advantage of joint opportunities for resiliency upgrades. The Strategy is likely to promote the deep retrofit rate reaching 3-5 percent of buildings annually by 2025, with applicable codes, standards, and guidelines for climate-resilient retrofits to be referenced in building…