OTTAWA — The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has issued a statement commending the federal, provincial and territorial governments for reaching a near-unanimous agreement on climate change on Dec. 9.
The CaGBC statement commends the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change for its "recognition of the building sector as an area critical to the reduction of emissions, as an aid in providing climate change resiliency, and as a means to driving innovation."
The framework's recommended actions for buildings include making buildings more energy efficient, setting net-zero targets, requiring building labelling, retrofitting existing buildings and requiring federal government leadership in greening their own buildings.
These actions were also key recommendations in the CaGBC's Building Solutions to Climate Change report, notes the CaGBC, submitted to the Vancouver Declaration Working Group for Specific Mitigation Opportunities on behalf of the Canadian green building industry in September.
"By outlining a plan to make new buildings more energy efficient and setting net-zero energy goals while also pledging federal investment in research, development and demonstration, along with industry cooperation, the framework demonstrates a clear commitment to innovation that is necessary to making these actions a reality," noted the statement.
The guidelines are in step with advances in the green building industry as shown with the CaGBC's recent launch of Canada's first Zero Carbon Initiative, said the CaGBC.
The CaGBC says its research demonstrates that Canada can achieve a 44 per cent reduction in emissions with a combination of recommissioning, deep retrofitting and fuel switching, among other policies, in existing buildings over 25,000 square feet by 2030.
"What the Pan-Canadian Framework clearly demonstrates is the potential of green buildings not only as a tool for emissions reduction and resiliency, but also as a driver of innovation in the new low-carbon economy," says Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the CaGBC. "The CaGBC commits to continued support of government and industry, while acknowledging there is work to be done in order to implement these broad policies and programs at a pace that will achieve the emissions reductions needed by 2030."