Our homes and buildings are where we live, work, study and gather. They are important to our well-being, a strong economy and as spaces for people to gather and interact.
Why green buildings?
The climate crisis demands immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and develop climate-resilient buildings. Green buildings reflect a sustainable and comprehensive approach to improving the energy efficiency of buildings and reducing their emissions to ensure a healthier environment and future for all Canadians.
Over 16 million dwellings and 482,000 commercial and public buildings are in use in Canada.
13% of Canada’s GHG emissions are from the buildings sector; 18% if we include electricity-related emissions.
Over 78% of building emissions come from space and water heating equipment.
Green buildings by 2050
To protect our environment and reduce the impacts of climate change, the Government of Canada has committed to reducing Canada’s total GHG emissions to 40 to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and to reaching net-zero by 2050. As the buildings sector is the third-largest source of emissions in Canada, prioritizing decarbonization, i.e. reducing or ending emissions into the atmosphere, is key to meeting our objectives. However, achieving net-zero emissions in buildings by 2050 will require overcoming several significant challenges.
Rate of change
At our current pace, it will take us well beyond 2050 to retrofit all residential, commercial, and public buildings – we need to pick up the pace!
Efficiency Canada estimates that retrofitting the entire building stock by 2050 would require $20-$32 billion annually.
People and supplies
The buildings sector is facing significant labour and supply chain shortages.
Housing affordability is already a serious challenge. Decarbonization, affordability and supply need to go hand-in-hand.
Getting there together: The Canada Green Buildings Strategy
Net-zero GHG emissions in the buildings sector by 2050 is an ambitious goal. Budget 2022 committed $150 million to develop the Canada Green Buildings Strategy.
The strategy will set out measures to accomplish this goal, and actions within the strategy will be sequenced to reduce GHG emissions, create more climate-resilient buildings, increase skilled jobs, and increase investment.
Improving the resilience of buildings to climate risks such as temperature increases, floods and wildfires is essential to actively address and respond to current and future extreme weather events. This also helps ensure that dwellings are appropriate for their local environment and reduce vulnerability for occupants and the economy.
Programs and funding for green homes and buildings
Programs to support the decarbonization of Canada’s building sector are already under way. Learn more about programs and funding available for greening homes or commercial, institutional and community buildings.
Stay informed about the strategy
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