Leading environmental organizations endorse new green recovery guidelines

OTTAWA – As the federal government works out its COVID-19 economic recovery, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) today released seven principles outlining a roadmap for meeting Canada’s 2050 climate commitments while spurring economic resilience and creating good jobs. Canada’s leading environmental groups, who represent close to two million people, have signed on to the new recommendations. Several of the groups, including the Pembina Institute, Climate Action Network Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, and Équiterre, met last week with key federal ministers to provide a more detailed path forward as Canada moves out of an emergency phase and into recovery.

“The federal government is spending billions on economic stimulus and has signalled that it is committed to a green recovery,” says Vanessa Corkal of IISD, lead author of the report. “This report shows the vital importance of strong climate action if we are to be effective in creating good jobs, a resilient economy and a healthy, fair society.”

Several organizations, including Climate Action Network Canada, Leadnow, and Greenpeace Canada, have started mobilizing their members and asking MPs to commit to the seven green recovery principles. Days of action and e-rallies will continue throughout the summer.

“This spring, while over 400 organizations across Canada united to call for a transformational and just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, oil and gas companies were lobbying hard to take Canada backwards,” says Catherine Abreu of Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac).

The report Green Strings: Principles and Conditions for a Green Recovery from COVID-19 gives policy-makers concrete steps to act on. These steps include adding conditions, or “green strings,” to funding given to industry, such as requiring concrete plans for net-zero emissions by 2050, with immediate action for reducing emissions in key high-carbon sectors. The report also recommends financial conditions—including prohibiting corporate stock buybacks and executive bonuses, and withholding support from companies using tax havens—coupled with strong transparency and accountability measures.

The authors of the report urge policy-makers working on recovery to take steps to increase equity. To truly build back better, the authors say, recovery must address societal inequities, which are magnified by COVID-19 and climate change.

“This report is a roadmap for ensuring the coherence of reconstruction projects with Canada’s environmental objectives,” says Caroline Brouillette of Équiterre. “We are optimistic about the possibility of integrating these principles into the government’s plans and policies.”

SOURCE International Institute for Sustainable Development

For further information or to arrange interviews: Vanessa Farquharson, Communications Manager, IISD, [email protected], +1 (613) 238 2296 ext. 114

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