Ready, Set, Grow: How the green building industry can re-ignite Canada’s economy

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Following an unprecedented global health crisis resulting in nearly half of all Canadian
households losing work, Canada is preparing for an economic recovery. Similar to the
2008 recession, the country will turn to its economic pillars, including construction and
infrastructure projects, to help re-ignite the economy and create urgently needed jobs.
While we find ourselves in extraordinary circumstances, this remains the critical decade
for climate action. The decisions the government makes now could set a new course
that can benefit Canadians for the next 10, 20, 50 or even 100 years. The economic
recovery this health crisis has precipitated could be the tipping point we need to
transition Canada toward a sustainable and low-carbon economy. There is no reason
why economic recovery and climate action can’t go hand in hand. Science tells us that
without targeted action on climate change today, we will subjugate future generations to
significant environmental, economic and social disruptions.

As Canada transitions to a low-carbon future, construction will be at the forefront of
change, as it represents over 7 per cent of Canada’s GDP, and almost 30 per cent of
Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when building operations, construction and
materials are included.

CaGBC recognizes that the federal government must balance the needs of Canadian
businesses with supporting a recovery that successfully advances the low-carbon
economy. Investing in low-carbon construction and infrastructure can accomplish both
while enabling the Government of Canada to meet its climate goals of reducing
emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

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