Green Budget Coalition Prioritizes 3 Budget Actions: for Biodiversity, Water & Energy - Backgrounder

Feb 04 2010

The Green Budget Coalition (GBC) brings together the collective knowledge of 21 of Canada's leading environmental and conservation groups to assist the federal government to adopt strategic budgetary and fiscal measures critical to achieving long-term environmental sustainability and to transforming the Canadian economy to be environmentally-restorative. Since the GBC's inception in 1999, over $15 billion in new federal funding has been allocated to environmental sustainability and key ecological fiscal reforms have been adopted.

The Green Budget Coalition's 3 priority recommendations for the 2010 federal budget are:

1) Protecting Ecosystems and Biodiversity: In the face of dangerous climate change, and with Canada due to report this year on its progress under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, fund a national ecosystem based adaptation strategy to improve Canada’s biodiversity protection on lands and oceans.
Investment Required: $208 million/year for first 2 years, $178 million/year for subsequent 3 years, and $130 million/year thereafter

2) Investing in Canada's Freshwater Future: Deliver Canada's promised federal water strategy, building upon recent federal actions, by investing in water and wastewater infrastructure, the cleanup of contaminated sediment, and protecting freshwater ecosystems in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Basin.
Investment Required: Note that the required new funding could be substantially reduced by directing previously-announced infrastructure and gas tax funding to these purposes.
$854 million/year for first 5 years, and $520 million/year for subsequent 5 years

3) Re-investing in Renewable Energy: Create at least eight thousand jobs by renewing Canada's incentives for renewable power, establishing green energy bonds and mapping Canada's geothermal potential.
Investment Required: $551 million/year (average) for 4 years, and $100 million/year (average) for subsequent 6 years

In light of the Copenhagen meetings in December, the GBC is now recommending that the budget allocate $320-$420 million per year in new funding, additional to current Overseas Development Assistance commitments, to cover Canada's fair share (3-4%) of the US$30 billion committed in Copenhagen, from 2010 to 2012, in "new and additional resources" to assist developing countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The GBC's Recommendations for Budget 2010 document also highlights these strategic recommendations:
1. Energy Efficiency: Creating Monthly Savings for Canadians
2. Metal and Mineral Recycling: Closing the Loop
3. Chrysotile Asbestos: Ending Subsidies
4. Conserving Migratory Birds
5. Extending Ecogifts Tax Incentives to Inventory Lands
6. Natural Capital Indicators: Supporting Smart Policy
7. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL): Ending Subsidies Through Privatization
8. Carbon Pricing: Revenue Recycling

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The GBC's full detailed recommendations are available in Recommendations for Budget 2010: Investing in a Prosperous Green Future

The Green Budget Coalition's members are Bird Studies Canada, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Centre for Integral Economics, David Suzuki Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ecojustice Canada, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, Friends of the Earth Canada, Greenpeace Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development, MiningWatch Canada, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Pembina Institute, Pollution Probe, Sierra Club Canada, Social Investment Organization, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and WWF-Canada.

CONTACTS:
General: Andrew Van Iterson, Program Manager, Green Budget Coalition, 613-562-3447 ext. 243, avaniterson@naturecanada.ca
Barry Turner, Chair, Green Budget Coalition; Director, Government Relations, Ducks Unlimited Canada; 613-565-5294, b_turner@ducks.ca

For specific recommendations:
1) Biodiversity & ecosystems – Ellen Adelberg, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, 613-569-7226 ext. 234, eadelberg@cpaws.org
2) Freshwater – Celeste Côté, Sierra Club Canada, 613-241-4611 ext. 233, c 613-240-3838, celestec@sierraclub.ca
3) Renewable energy – Tim Weis, Pembina Institute, c 613-601-6519, timw@pembina.org
4) Climate action in developing countries – Dale Marshall, David Suzuki Foundation, 613-302-9913, dmarshall@davidsuzuki.org

www.greenbudget.ca

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