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 next 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 are launching 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.
MI is launching 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. At MI-6, the initial three Missions were launched in shipping, hydrogen and power. 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. Canada is participating in both the Hydrogen and Power Missions:
Co-led by Australia, European Commission, and United Kingdom
Canada is participating in this Mission as an MI 2.0 member.
Co-led by China, Italy, and United Kingdom
Canada is participating in this Mission as an MI 2.0 member.
The Challenge: Variable renewable energy, such as solar and wind, is already the lowest-emission and lowest-cost form of electricity generation in many regions, but its inherent intermittency limits the potential for electricity systems to integrate 100% variable renewable power.
The Mission: Through large-scale demonstrations and enhanced investments in research and development, participants will provide a toolbox of solutions to provide confidence that countries can integrate up to 100% renewable energy into existing power systems by 2030, while ensuring they remain cost-efficient, secure and resilient.
The Challenge: Clean hydrogen has the potential to decarbonise hard to reach sectors, such as industry and heat, which are responsible for two thirds of global emissions and help unlock the full potential of renewable energy. However, today it is up to three times more expensive than hydrogen produced from fossil fuels.
The Mission: Participants will catalyse cost reductions by increasing research and development in hydrogen technologies and industrial processes and delivering at least 100 hydrogen valleys across production, storage and end-use worldwide by 2030, to unleash a global clean hydrogen economy.
A second wave of Missions will be launched at COP26 in November 2021. 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.
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 will co-lead the Materials for Energy (M4E) Initiative to develop Materials Acceleration Platforms to advance materials for clean energy applications as well as participate 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 active participation in MI Clean Hydrogen Mission, Green Powered Future Mission and the MI Innovation Platform, Canada will continue to show leadership in building a low-carbon energy future and supporting international clean energy collaboration under MI 2.0. 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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