Content courtesy of the Pembina
The federal governmentpledged a raft of policies to tackle green house gasses generated from Canada’s built environment, including drafting a Canada Green Building Strategy.
Ottawa is funding programs to support retrofitting residential and commercial buildings to improve energy efficiency and allow switching from fossil-based energy to renewable sources. However, the government has yet to advance policies or provide sufficient funding to meet the goal of substantially decarbonizing Canada’s buildings.
Emissions in the buildings sector have been trending upwards since 2005 as Canada’s building stock continues to grow. It is critical that, as new buildings are constructed, they are net-zero ready and energy efficient to avoid the need for costly retrofits in the future.
However, by 2030, more than 80 per cent of Canada’s building stock will still be made up of buildings that exist now. The most recent data shows that the building sector accounted for 91 Mt of CO2e emissions, or 12 per cent of Canada’s total, mostly generated using natural gas to heat water and space. That’s up eight per cent from 2005 levels. The figure does not include emissions from off-site power plants that provide electricity for lighting and other energy needs.
The federal government has pledged to establish model net-zero-ready building codes that could be adopted by provinces and territories. Net-zero-ready requires the highest standards for energy efficiency and construction that could incorporate roof-top solar, electric heat pumps, energy efficient buildings, high performing windows and doors and other technology to eliminate reliance on fossil fuel energy.
The federal government has projected a drop in building emissions of 42 per cent between 2019 and 2030.