This is one of the 26 segments of Guy Dauncey’s Climate Emergency: A 26-Week Transition Program for Canada. Excerpted by permission.
To encourage businesses to engage with the transition we will advance a Carbon Accountability Act (Week 1), which starting in January 2021 will require businesses with more than $25 million in annual sales to publish their annual carbon emissions, describe efforts to reduce their emissions, and disclose their climate risk, both physically and financially.
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- We will require companies listed on the Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver Stock Exchanges to show evidence of action to tackle the climate emergency. Companies that fail to do so by January 2022 will risk being delisted.
- We will offer Climate Smart Business Grants of between $500 and $2,500 (average $1,500) to Canada’s 1.18 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to assist them to reduce their emissions to zero. 55% of such businesses have fewer than four employees, and only 1.6% are medium-sized businesses. Since 2007, Climate Smart, based in Vancouver, has been providing training and software that enables businesses to measure and reduce their carbon emissions. On average, businesses achieve an 11% reduction in emissions within two years; top-performers achieve a 30% reduction. Case studies from a sample of 70+ Climate Smart businesses show a total annual cost savings to the companies of $4.5 million, averaging $64,000 per business. Deeper investments will be needed to achieve 100% reduction in emissions. Cost: 118,000 x $1,500 = $177 million per year (#36)
- To assist businesses with the investments and equipment upgrades necessary to eliminate their emissions, we will establish a $4 billion per year Climate Smart Investment Fund, offering long-term 5% interest loans to SMEs. The Government of Canada will guarantee these loans in case of business failure. This initiative will extend the existing $500-million Low Carbon Economy Challenge and the Climate Action Incentive Fund for SMEs, which is offering $107 million for 2019/2020 in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick. Cost: $4 billion per year (#37)
- To train Climate Smart Business Advisors, we will fund 20 Climate Smart Training Workshops a year at a cost of $10,000 each. Assisting 1.18 million SMEs over 10 years averages 118,000 a year. One Climate Smart Business Advisor assists 75 to 100 SMEs a year, so 1,200 advisors will be needed to assist 118,000 SMEs a year, with a surge in demand expected in the mid-2020s as the carbon tax increases. Cost: $200,000 a year (#38)
- To level the playing field on imports, we will work with our trade partners to adjust each of Canada’s 99 existing or planned trade and investment agreements and to impose Border Carbon Tax Adjustment Tariffs on imports from countries that pay no or low carbon taxes. We will join other nations in seeking ways to impose Climate Tariffs on countries that are not doing their part to reduce their emissions.