Mission Innovation was announced at COP21 on November 30, 2015, as world leaders came together in Paris to commit to ambitious efforts to combat climate change. Canada is an active participant in Mission Innovation (MI), a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Commission to catalyse action and investment in research, development and demonstration to make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible for all. This will accelerate progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and pathways to net zero.
As a founding member of MI, Canada showed leadership in supporting the first phase of MI, exceeding its target to double spending in clean energy RD&D, and launching successful partnership-based initiatives like Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada.
In June 2021, at the sixth MI Ministerial (MI-6) meeting, Canada joined MI members in launching a decade of clean energy innovation. Through the second phase of the initiative, Natural Resources Canada will continue leading efforts in the transition to a low-carbon energy future and support international clean energy collaboration.
MI 2.0 – A Decade of Clean Energy Innovation
The second phase of MI is shifting focus towards outcomes, pursuing concrete actions in support of clean growth, job opportunities, and energy access, while pursuing net-zero carbon emissions.
Achieving the Paris Agreement requires further leaps in clean energy innovation. Almost half of the emissions reductions by mid-century will come from technologies that are currently at demonstration or prototype phase. Many of the solutions are known, but require significant investment in research, development and demonstrations this decade to make them affordable and accessible to all. MI Members have launched a decade of clean energy innovation to unlock cost competitive net zero pathways for the most difficult decarbonisation challenges, and to maximize the impact of innovation investments in support of clean growth, job opportunities, and energy access.
To catalyse action MI members are forming public-private Missions, setting ambitious and inspirational innovation goals that can lead to tipping points in the cost, performance or scale of clean energy solutions, leading to more rapid adoption this decade.
At MI-6, the initial three Missions were launched in shipping, hydrogen and power. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021, four additional Missions were announced, focused on carbon dioxide removal (CDR), urban transitions, net-zero industries, and integrated biorefineries.
The Missions set global ambition, provide political momentum and enable governments and the private sector to work together to make sure more innovation happens, more rapidly, over the next decade.
MI Missions are well-aligned with Canada’s domestic ambitions on clean growth and climate change. NRCan is increasingly adopting a systemic, mission-oriented approach to frame RD&D efforts in direct support of net-zero by 2050.
Canada co-leads the Mission on CDR and participates in the Clean Hydrogen, Green-Powered Future, and Integrated Biorefineries Missions:
Co-led by Canada , the United States, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Goal: Enable carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies to achieve a net reduction of 100 million metric tons of CO2 per year globally by 2030.
The Mission: We will catalyze a global CDR industry by increasing research and development on CDR approaches, harmonizing lifecycle analyses (LCAs) and technoeconomic analyses (TEAs), and facilitating near-term pilot-scale tests and deployment.
Co-led by China, Italy and United Kingdom. Canada is participating in this Mission as an MI 2.0 member.
The Goal: Effectively integrate up to 100% variable renewable energies across different geographies and climates and maintain a cost-efficient, secure and resilient system.
The Mission:Develop a toolbox of innovative solutions to provide confidence that all countries can build a renewable-powered future and realize an affordable clean energy transition.
Co-led by Australia, Chile, European Union, United Kingdom, and United States. Canada is participating in this Mission as an MI 2.0 member.
The Goal: Increase the cost-competitiveness of clean hydrogen by reducing end-to-end costs to USD $2 per kilogram by 2030.
The Mission:Deliver at least 100 hydrogen valleys across production, storage and end-use worldwide by 2030, to unleash a global hydrogen economy.
Co-led by India and the Netherlands. Canada is participating in this Mission as an MI 2.0 member.
The Goal: Develop and demonstrate innovative solutions to accelerate the commercialization of integrated biorefineries, with a target of replacing 10% of fossil-based fuels, chemicals and materials with bio-based alternatives worldwide by 2030.
The Mission: The Mission will advance sustainable biorefining pathways and technologies to support the development and commercialization of bio-based fuels, chemicals and materials, by also considering process energy demands. This will support de-risking new and emerging technology, while improving the cost-competitiveness of bio-based alternatives, notably biofuels.
The MI Innovation Platform will help to provide access to robust Insights to track innovation progress and inform more effective decision-making at the national and international levels; catalyze Collaboration by exchanging knowledge, identifying research and development needs and convening funders; and work with innovators, investors and end-users to Accelerate solutions towards the market.
Through the Insights module of the Platform, NRCan will share its experiences and best practices in clean technology policy and programming, to support the efforts of the broader MI community.
Through the Collaborate module, NRCan co-leads the Materials for Energy (M4E) Initiativeto develop Materials Acceleration Platforms to advance materials for clean energy applications, as well as participates in the Innovation Community on Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings.
Canada’s Leadership in MI
Since its launch, Canada showed leadership in supporting the international delivery of the initiative, was instrumental in shaping MI 2.0, and remains committed to play a leading role in the governance and initiatives of MI. NRCan will continue to provide strategic guidance as a member and Vice Chair of the MI Steering Committee as well as support the day-to-day operations of MI through participation on the virtual MI Secretariat.
Technology and innovation will become increasingly important to achieve the deep decarbonisation required for net-zero emissions and Canada recognises the value of strengthening efforts to demonstrate impact of MI activities, initiatives, and Missions supporting this goal. Through its leadership in MI initiatives, Canada will continue to help build a low-carbon energy future and support international clean energy collaboration under MI 2.0.
Canada’s Engagement during the First Phase of MI
Canada’s renewed commitment is built upon past success. In its first five years, MI members committed to double their respective public investments in clean energy RD&D and collaborated in areas clean energy innovation to leverage individual country strengths, reduce duplication of effort, and increase the cost-efficiency of public RD&D expenditures.
MI Phase 1 Goals
How Canada Delivered
Double public investment in clean energy RD&D over five years.
- Exceeded the doubling target, reaching $786.8M in federal clean energy RD&D spending in 2019-20, $11.8M over the $775M target.
Increase international collaboration on clean energy RD&D.
- Participates in all eight Innovation Challenges (ICs).
- Co-leads IC4: Sustainable Biofuels and IC6: Clean Energy Materials.
Encourage private sector engagement in, and funding of, clean energy RD&D.
- Launched the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada initiative to increase the impact of clean energy investments and scale the adoption of clean technologies.
Increase awareness of the potential of energy innovation, progress made and the remaining gaps/opportunities.
- Hosted the fourth Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-4) in May 2019, in Vancouver Canada.
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