"There has been a lot of talk up until now about meeting our Kyoto obligations but this budget contains a serious commitment in terms of dollars and that is very positive", said Alex Zimmerman, president of the Canada Green Building Council. "Canada can be a world leader in greenhouse gas reduction and a world leader in sustainable development. This is a win for the economy and for the environment."
Budget highlights include:
- $1 billion to establish a "Clean Fund" to encourage the most cost-effective projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate more action to reduce GHGs
- $225 million to quadruple the number of homes retrofitted under the EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Incentive program
- At total of $1.81 billion over the next 15 years to encourage investment in wind other renewable energy sources
- A recognition that greening the Government of Canada's buildings is the lowest cost source of emission reductions as part of the Federal House in Order initiative, which seeks to lower direct GHG emissions levels from federal government operations
- $300 million provided to enrich the Green Municipal Funds, which make investment in innovative local green projects
"Over 30% of Canada's greenhouse gases come from constructing and operating commercial and residential buildings", continued Zimmerman. "We believe that some of the lowest cost and most significant green house gas reductions will come from this sector."
"The Canada Green Building Council is working hard to educate the buildings industry on the economic and environmental benefits of green buildings. The federal government must continue to pursue creative and innovative ways to encourage green design and construction as well as retrofits of existing commercial and residential buildings across the country."
"Public and consumer demand for green buildings and healthier, sustainable communities is rapidly growing," concluded Zimmerman. "It's smart for this government to respond to that demand."