Prime Minister Trudeau presents the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change
Good evening. Today the First Ministers and I came together to do some very important work. Work that, frankly, was long overdue. That work centres around the very real threat of climate change and the tremendous opportunity that exists for Canada to be more innovative, more competitive, and more successful, for our benefit, for our children, and for every generation that follows.
Working together the premiers and I have developed a framework that includes real and concrete measures to build a strong, clean, economy, to create the good, well-paying jobs that Canadian families need to succeed, and to do what Canadians expect of us and of themselves, to do all we can to make our world better for our children and grandchildren.
And so I want to thank all of the premiers for being here today, for coming in to this meeting with some strongly held views, but also with a willingness to work hard on behalf of all Canadians. I want to recognize and thank indigenous leaders for their ongoing partnership and their contributions today. Every person in the room, whether they represented First Nations, the Inuit, the Métis Nation, provinces, territories, or Canada as a whole, had a chance to be heard and to have their viewpoints considered as we made important decisions together.
And I'm very happy to share with you the results of many months of hard work – the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, an ambitious and achievable framework to address climate change and grow the clean economy for our children and grandchildren.
It is a plan that also recognizes the unique needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. In that spirit, we have put forward a strategy based on collaboration to meet those needs. As you have often heard me say, we do not have to choose between what’s good for the economy and what’s good for the environment. This plan includes several significant measures that will allow us to grow our economy and create good jobs.
With this plan, we are acting with determination to fight climate change and make meaningful progress on environmental protection for our children and grandchildren. At the heart of this framework is a national plan putting a price on carbon pollution, a plan developed to respect the different needs of each province and territory, including the unique needs of Northern communities. At the same time, we know that this pricing is not sufficient on its own to achieve the ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement. To get there, we will need to do more.
That’s why, as a second point, this plan includes some strong measures aimed at accelerating a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Our goal is to have Canada powered by 90% clean energy by 2030. That's a goal we can achieve through the phase-out of coal-fired power, along with greater reliance on renewables like hydro, wind, and solar power, and by taking action to protect and enhance carbon stored in forested lands, wetlands, and agricultural lands -- all things part of our discussions today.
This plan also affirms our intention to jointly develop a national clean fuel standard to reduce emissions from fuels used in transportation, buildings, and industry. The premiers and I also talked about how to best move ahead with the investments needed to build a clean growth economy. We discussed the $2 billion low carbon economy fund, the $25 billion federal commitment to public transit, our $21 billion commitment to green infrastructure, and our billion-dollar planned investment to support clean technology, as well as plans for the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
Together these investments will enable us to build the infrastructure that our country requires to reduce pollution, to create new jobs for the middle class, and to make lives better for all Canadians. By improving energy efficiency standards for housing and other buildings, we will be reducing costs for those who need help the most. We also agreed we need better clean energy infrastructure, things like new charging stations for electric cars, integrated transit systems, and building stronger connections between provinces to produce and share clean electricity.
Finally, we discussed various ways of measuring and reporting on our progress. It is important for all those involved in this process that the actions taken and results achieved be shared with Canadians transparently and responsibly. The premiers can tell you more about their individual priorities, but I had the opportunity to see what they’re planning and I have to tell you that a number of the projects are truly inspiring. They include a corridor between Quebec and Ontario for electric cars, a regional power grid to help the Atlantic provinces move off of polluting energy sources like coal. Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia are in the process of evaluating various ways of linking their clean energy systems between their borders. And the territories are starting to depend less on diesel for energy.
This is the type of cooperation and collaboration that will help Canada position itself as a true world leader in clean energy. Once again, I want to thank the premiers for their leadership. I know there was a time when the federal government did not show the same commitment, when climate change was still the subject of debate and clean energy was perceived as a threat to the economy rather than as an opportunity. Well, those days are behind us all.
I am very proud to now work with a group of premiers and indigenous leaders who recognize that we are all in this together and that the need to act now is not simply a moral imperative, it's an economic necessity. It's only by working together that we can truly take on the challenge of climate change, sharing our ideas, challenging each other, and ultimately making tough decisions.
That's what we needed to do to grow a strong and clean economy. That's what we need to do to protect the health of our environment and with it the health of all Canadians. Every first minister, and indeed every Canadian, wants to leave a cleaner, more prosperous country to our children than the one we inherited from our parents. With this framework we are telling Canadians and the world that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand.
And now, we get to prove it.