Earth Index

The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act will establish a legally binding process to set five-year national emissions-reduction targets for 2030, 2035, 2040, and 2045, as well as develop credible, science-based emissions-reduction plans to achieve each target. The Act will also require the Minister of Finance, in cooperation with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to publish an annual report outlining key measures that federal departments and crown corporations have taken to manage the financial risks and opportunities related to climate change.

In July, the federal government announced an ambitious 2030 target to reduce emissions by 40-45% against 2005 levels of 730 Mt, which means ratcheting down emissions from current levels of 730 Mt to as low as 406 Mt in just nine years–a monumental challenge and opportunity to put Canada on a fast-track to succeed in the low-carbon economy. 

What is missing are clear annual performance milestones to gauge if the country is on track or not, and why. 

EARTH INDEX will be anchored on key performance indicators and policy drivers for each major sector of the economy — power, transport, buildings, industry and agriculture.

To facilitate and enable Canada’s ambitious decarbonization schedule, we will host a series of live moderated roundtable events with senior decision-makers and stakeholders to annually refine and promote the index and its constituent drivers. 

Each of the five annual events will focus on one of the streams — power, transport, buildings, industry and agriculture — and include senior perspectives from the relevant federal/provincial ministries, financial institutions, industry (including utilities), Indigenous groups, and other civil society members. The roundtables will feature table-setting research on the current state of play (policy roll-out, emissions reduction and capital mobilization), driving toward a Build Back Better style Compact to close the performance gap.

The index and underlying provincial/national indicators will be revised and published annually to measure progress, celebrate breakthroughs, and highlight ongoing/emerging challenges to focus efforts on solutions that put and keep Canada on an ambitious track towards decarbonization.

Participants from each of the streams will convene annually and own the results.

Components of EARTH INDEX:

  • Carbon Intensity of Grid
  • Total Energy Productivity of the Economy
  • Total GHG Intensity of the Economy
  • % Total energy provided by electricity

Earth Index Events 2021/2022


THE GREEN MOBILITY WAVE

December 8 | 11AM-12:30PM ET

An ambitious schedule for vehicle electrification with 2030 zero-emissions-vehicles (ZEV) sales tracking to 100% for passenger vehicles and 75-80% for trucks would reduce GHG emissions by 63 Mt per year and save drivers $23 billion annually at the pump. To achieve this, we require supportive demand and supply side policies, suitable financial structures, and sufficient charging infrastructure. This session will consider the current state of affairs including the % of fleet and most recent year’s sales that are zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) for passenger, buses and trucks, progress made in the past year, and what is required in terms of strengthened policies, capital mobilization, and charging infrastructure roll-out to electrify a significant portion of Canada’s fleet while putting us on track for nearly all new vehicle sales to be ZEV by 2030—as per the Corporate Knights Build Back Better Synthesis Report.

Moderator:
Toby Heaps
CEO, Corporate Knights

Opening Remarks:
The Hon. Mona Fortier
President of the Treasury Board of Canada

Contributors:
Nino Di Cara
President, Electric Autonomy Canada

Brett Hillhouse
Global Head, Automotive and Electronics Industry, IBM

Joanna Kyriazis
Senior Policy Advisor, Clean Energy Canada

Chief Clarence Louie
CEO, Osoyoos Indian Band

Paul Soubry
President and CEO, NFI Group

Ralph Torrie
Director of Research, Corporate Knights

Stephanie Wallcraft
President, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada


THE GREEN INDUSTRIAL WAVE

January 12 | 11AM-12:30PM ET

Canada’s manufacturers generate more than 10% of total GDP, export more than $354 billion in goods each year and employ 1.7 million Canadians. Along with these benefits, manufacturing has a sizable footprint. “Heavy industry” consumes 80% of the sector’s energy and emits more than 85% of total manufacturing GHG emissions. To shrink these emissions on an ambitious schedule, the transition to a sustainable production system will be led by a shift from commodities to services, and includes dematerialization and lightweighting, reuse and recycling, the substitution of fossil fuels with renewable energy, the elimination of toxic by-products and pollutants, and a redoubling of efficiency. This session will explore the smart, dynamic policies that can help us reduce manufacturing GHG emissions by 8 Mt per year by 2030, support 23,000 good new jobs and simultaneously make Canadian companies leaders in exportable low-carbon technology, as per the Corporate Knights Build Back Better model.


THE GREEN RENOVATION WAVE

January 26 | 11AM-12:30PM ET

Canada has 2.85 billion square metres of inefficient buildings that make up 13% of our national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Transitioning the buildings off fossil fuels will require ambitious energy retrofits on an unprecedented scale. A ten-year, phased-in program for thermally retrofitting and electrifying 60% of Canada’s homes would reduce GHG emissions by 45% and, at current rates, annual fuel and electricity costs by $12.7 billion annually.  For commercial buildings stock, the combination of thermal retrofits and conversions to heat pumps will enable energy costs to drop by a third ($7.3 billion), and GHG emissions to drop by 50%, or 22 Mt CO2e. This session details the public investments and policy measures needed to decarbonize this sector on our ambitious timeline.


THE GREEN AGRICULTURE WAVE

February 2 | 11AM-12:30PM ET

The systems that generate our food, if all inputs are included, represent 25 to 30% of global GHG emissions. The agricultural sector generates 10% of Canada’s GHG emissions, with the majority traceable to beef production and the intensive use of nitrogen fertilizers. Building a more resilient regenerative farming ecosystem will result in a significant increase in ecological goods and services (EGS), including food, water, timber, and services such as water filtration, flood protection, wildlife habitat conservation and GHG sequestration. We can have a more nutritious, lower-carbon food supply and enhance biodiversity, while adding thousands of jobs to local communities. This session details a 30% reduction in agricultural emissions by 2030, and a 50% cut by 2050, through the implementation of existing practices and technologies and an investment equal to 0.1% of annual GDP, per the Build Back Better farming and forests model.


WATCH: THE GREEN POWER WAVE

A green grid to enable carbon-free energy in the next decade is within our grasp. But it will require smart policies and financial structures to build out the requisite clean power generation, transmission capacity, and crucially, storage. This session will consider the current state of affairs including the carbon intensity of the grid, progress made in the past year, and what is required in terms of strengthened policies, capital mobilization, and infrastructure roll-out (storage, generation, and transmission) to put us on track to a resilient carbon-free grid by 2030—as per the Corporate Knights Build Back Better Synthesis Report

Moderator:
Toby Heaps
CEO, Corporate Knights

Contributors:
Anne-Raphaëlle Audouin

CEO, WaterPower Canada

Ehren Cory
CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank

Severn Cullis-Suzuki
Executive Director, David Suzuki Foundation

Matt Jamieson
CEO, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation

Phil Spring
Executive Partner and Vice President Energy and Sustainability, IBM Consulting – Europe

Ralph Torrie
Director of Research, Corporate Knights


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