Climate Change 101

Pan-Canadian Framework

For the first time, provinces, territories and the federal government have agreed to take collective action to address climate change. Together, we have developed the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

It has four pillars: pricing carbon pollution, taking action in each sector of the economy, adapting to climate change, and supporting clean technologies, innovation and job creation. Foundational to these pillars is the commitment of our governments to continue to recognize, respect and safeguard the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Government of Canada is making investments and taking action across all four of these pillars.

Pricing Carbon Pollution

 Pricing carbon pollution is a cornerstone of Canada’s climate change plan. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, drive innovation, and encourage Canadians and businesses to pollute less. It will also send a clear signal to industry and investors that we are moving to a low-carbon future. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:

Ensure carbon pricing systems are implemented throughout Canada by 2018.
Find solutions, in collaboration with the territories, and with Indigenous Peoples, that address their unique circumstances.
Establish the approach to the review of carbon pricing, including expert assessment of stringency and effectiveness that compares carbon pricing systems across Canada, and report back to First Ministers in 2020 and 2022.
As an early deliverable, assess best practices for addressing the competitiveness of emissions-intensive trade-exposed sectors.

Homes and Buildings

We spend the majority of our lives in buildings. We can improve them and reduce emissions by making our buildings more efficient. This will also make them more comfortable and healthy, and save Canadians money on energy bills. We can design our buildings to use and even generate clean electricity. Improving our homes and buildings will also create new construction jobs and will encourage Canadian businesses to innovate. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:

Develop more energy efficient building codes for new and existing structures and work toward labelling energy use in buildings.
Use funds from the $2 billion Low Carbon Economy Fund and green infrastructure investments to help interested provinces and territories expand their efforts to improve building energy efficiency.
Set new standards for heating equipment and other key technologies.
Collaborate with Indigenous Peoples as they improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.


Nearly a quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. We can cut these emissions, while also making our cities healthier and giving Canadians more convenient transportation options. We can do this by using cleaner fuels, putting more zero emission vehicles on the road, improving public transit, and making our transportation system run more efficiently. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:
• Continue cutting emissions from cars, trucks and transport vehicles including through the development of new efficiency standards for tires.
• Develop a Canada-wide strategy for zero-emission vehicles, and invest in charging and natural gas and hydrogen fuelling infrastructure.
• Invest in public transit
• Develop a clean fuel standard.


Canada already has one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world, and has set a goal of increasing the share of clean electricity we produce from 80% to 90% by 2030. This clean electricity will power more of our homes, businesses, cars and industry. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:
• Accelerate the phase out of traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030.
• Invest in renewable energy such as wind and solar.
• Invest in transmission lines between provinces and territories, as well as energy storage and “smart grid” technologies to make better use of renewable energy.
• Work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and northern and remote communities to reduce their reliance on diesel.


 Canada’s industries are the backbone of our economy. From oil and gas production to pulp mills to steel and aluminum manufacturing, our industries produce quality products for use at home and abroad. Industry is also the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. We can help our industries cut their emissions by switching to cleaner fuels, using energy more efficiently and installing cutting-edge technologies. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:

• Reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45% by 2025.

• Develop regulations to phase down the use of hydro-fluorocarbons.

• Help industries improve their energy efficiency.

• Invest in developing and deploying new clean technologies.

Forestry, Agriculture and, Waste+

Canada’s forests, wetlands and agricultural soils absorb and store carbon. Enhancing these “carbon sinks” is essential for helping us reach our climate goals, in particular over the longer term. The forestry and agriculture industries also produce emissions, and so does municipal waste. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:
• Protect and enhance forests, wetlands and agricultural lands, which act as carbon sinks.
• Encourage greater use of wood products in construction.
• Facilitate expanded production of renewable fuels and bio-products.
• Advance innovative forestry and agricultural management practices and technologies that help reduce emissions.

Adaptation and Climate Resilience

Canadians are already feeling the impacts of climate change. Permafrost is thawing, coastlines are eroding, invasive species are increasing, and we’re seeing more frequent and severe wildfires, droughts, and floods. Reducing emissions and building a cleaner economy is one part of the solution. But we must also prepare and adapt. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:
• Help translate scientific information and Traditional Knowledge into action by establishing a Canadian center for climate services and by building regional capacity and adaptation expertise.
• Invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and integrate climate resilience into building codes and standards.
• Invest in protecting health and well-being, including supporting healthy Indigenous communities.
• Support vulnerable regions by investing in infrastructure, strengthening capacity in the North, supporting community-based monitoring, and advancing research, monitoring, and information for coastal regions.
• Work to mitigate hazards and disasters by investing in infrastructure and advancing efforts to protect against flood damage.
• Work with Indigenous Peoples, including through community-based initiatives, to build capacity for adaptation action and address the specific risks they face due to a changing climate.

Clean Technology, Innovation and Jobs

Canada has an opportunity to be a leader in developing clean technologies. New technologies can help us reduce emissions while also creating jobs and growing our economy for future generations. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:
• Invest in research and technology development in areas with the potential for substantial emission reductions.
• Help companies commercialize their products and grow.
• Lead by example by purchasing clean technologies for government operations.
• Work with northern, remote and Indigenous communities to adopt and adapt clean technologies to their needs.

Parks and Protected Areas

Canada has 46 national parks and one national urban park that span diverse ecosystems across the country. The Government of Canada is taking action to strengthen our marine and terrestrial areas and the biodiversity within them. Healthy, biologically diverse ecosystems are more resilient to climate change and can also help protect against climate change impacts, such as flooding and drought. Parks and protected areas also act as carbon sinks. Preserving and enhancing these areas can help them absorb and store more carbon. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:
• Protect 17 percent of its terrestrial areas and 10 percent of its marine areas by 2020.



Climate change is a global challenge and cannot be solved without international collaboration. Canada is working with countries around the world to demonstrate leadership and take global action on climate change. The Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories to:
• Deliver on Canada’s international climate finance commitment of $2.65 billion by 2020 to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
• Explore tools related to acquiring internationally transferred mitigation outcomes under the Paris Agreement.
• Engage international partners to ensure that trade rules support climate policy.

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