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Canada Needs Measures to Mark Progress on Carbon, Clean Energy

If Canada hopes to successfully reduce its carbon emissions, it needs to “invest in good measurement and a steady flow of data that tracks our clean growth transition,” say five prominent advocates and practitioners of climate action and socially responsible investing.

The group calls for the creation of “a pan-Canadian accountability mechanism” overseen by an independent agency modeled on the UK Committee on Climate Change, “to advise the government on setting carbon targets and report back to Parliament annually on progress.” Such a body, the group writes in an essay in Policy Options magazine, could be created within the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change.

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“Data drives progress,” write Catherine Abreu of Climate Action Network Canada, Peter Chapman of the Shareholder Association for Research and Education, Norm Tasevski of Purpose Capital, Elizabeth Sheehan of Climate Smart Business Inc., and Deb Abbey of the Responsible Investment Association. [Disclosure: Energy Mix Productions Inc. is a !brand new! member of Climate Action Network Canada.]

For Canada to reach its climate goals, they reason, “we need to know where we are in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, what efforts are paying off, and where more effort must be applied. And we need new, more sophisticated GHG emissions modelling from agencies like the National Energy Board or Statistics Canada to factor in the pace of innovations that are reshaping the energy sector.”

The group encourages Canada to adopt the recommendations of the international Financial Stability Board on climate-related corporate disclosure, building on existing reporting by provincial governments and the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. “Data sets that highlight the link between the adoption of clean technologies and economic growth are another area full of potential,” the five contributors add.