Investment in clean technology and retraining opportunities should be at the heart of post-COVID recovery, according to over 2,000 Canadian companies and associations
A newly published open letter calling on Canadian governments to pursue a “resilient recovery” following COVID-19 has been signed by over 200 signatories representing over 2,000 companies and industry associations nationwide.
According to the letter, the clean energy sector currently employs 298,000 Canadians. Aside from dramatically increasing that number, investment in the industry promises to cut carbon emissions and air pollution levels, the latter of which has been linked to higher COVID-19 death rates.
The letter requests that federal and provincial governments commit to a three-part economic recovery plan which includes stimulus investments “into Canada’s fast-growing clean energy and cleantech sectors and the local production and export of world-leading low- and zero-carbon commodities,” quick action “to support clean energy and cleantech solutions and businesses by expanding existing initiatives and programs,” and signaling “that Canada will continue and expand on its climate and environmental policies”.
It also emphasizes the importance of providing retraining opportunities to those who are currently unemployed, an action which “can and should” be taken immediately.
An international movement
“A number of countries around the world, the EU, the International Energy Agency, the International Monetary Fund… Each is calling for clean stimulus, for a recovery that supports—not hinders—our crucial climate efforts,” says Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, who are among the letter’s signatories.
Also among those endorsing the letter are Siemens, Ballard Power, Stantec, MaRS Discovery District, The Lion Electric Co., and Electric Autonomy Canada.
“The idea of a resilient recovery is now mainstream, it’s good business, and it’s how Canada stays competitive,” Smith says.
As Smith points out, this letter follows a number of other calls for Canada’s post-COVID recovery to ensure sustainable and resilient growth.
In the months preceding the COVID-19 shutdowns, the federal government displayed a level of willingness to boost the growth of Canada’s cleantech industry.
In February, it announced the Breakthrough Canada initiative, a partnership with Breakthrough Energy which will provide up to $3 million dollars to ten Canadian companies dedicated to developing clean energy technology.