The challenges to a low-carbon transition are largely social and political rather than technical. Current national greenhouse gas reduction targets, if adopted globally, would not deliver the goal of constraining warming to less than 2°C. In order to contribute meaningfully to both domestic and international climate change mitigation efforts, Canada must pursue three pillars of decarbonization: energy efficiency, electrification and switching off diesel. A creative, ambitious program of decarbonization experiments, led by a variety of actors and implemented at different scales, should be undertaken to trigger more transformative shifts toward a low-carbon future. A just transition to a low-carbon future is one that is equitable, inclusive, adaptable and holistic.
Sarah Burch is a CIGI senior fellow. She is contributing to research on financing sustainable development, focused on the exploration of innovative solutions to address challenges associated with climate change and sustainability.