Photo by maistora
If Canada became a world leader in green economy, it would be only a benefit to its citizens. It is up to our political leaders to propose a clear strategy on green growth in the budget, as the ability to compete effectively in a green energy race may prove to be of vital importance for our future development.
So far, we are not really doing well, considering the relatively low value of our green investments compared to those of other countries. According to newly released BlueGreen Canada data, Canada spent only $87 per capita, while the U.S. and China invested about $360 and $187 per head, respectively, on projects connected to climate change infrastructure. The report further suggests that hesitation about green investments may cost our economy tens of thousands jobs.
Officials should realize that spending on green economy provides yields one crucial benefit: independence from swings in oil prices. Despite our considerable oil reserves, Canadians have to pay the global price for oil, and the country’s economy is even more vulnerable to price spikes. Diversifying Canada’s economy would therefore contribute to increasing stability as well as national energy security. It is not difficult to find examples of countries that appreciate the necessity of jumping on the green wagon: see Norway and its plan to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2030.
Joanne Whitmore, a climate-change campaigner with the David Suzuki Foundation, says that the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones, and there is no need to wait until we run out of fossil fuels. Shifting to a greener economy is closely connected to our future prosperity, and now is the time to act — before we fall too far behind, because the door to a clean economy are still shut for us.