In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2010), a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was conducted for the ISED portion of the Innovation and Skills Plan introduced by the Government of Canada as part of Budget 2017. The SEA indicated that future investments made under this framework in clean technology, innovation, and skills development towards the realization of a low carbon economy will likely have positive direct and indirect environmental effects. These effects will serve to advance some of the goals and targets of the 2016–2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). It should be noted that the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development has shared responsibility for the clean growth goal and clean technology target.
Feedback during stakeholder consultations held in summer 2016 and the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (FPT) Working Group on Clean Technology, Innovation and Jobs revealed that there was support for a clean technology innovation strategy that:
- supports early-stage technology development;
- accelerates commercialization and company growth;
- fosters adoption; and,
- strengthens collaboration and develops metrics for measuring success.
The Innovation and Skills Plan builds upon these ambitions and aims to achieve them with a strong focus on growth of clean tech companies and adoption of clean tech solutions across the economy. Budget 2017 proposed more than $2.2B to support clean technology research, development, demonstration, and adoption. As well, through its participation in Mission Innovation, Canada will double its investments in clean energy research and development over the next five years. Such measures are expected to strengthen supply chains, increase global market shares, and accelerate the growth of clean technology companies. The Plan's initiatives will also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse (GHG) emissions.
Therefore, the Innovation and Skills Plan is expected to advance progress on two goals in the FSDS, namely:
FSDS Goal 1—Effective Action on Climate Change
Long-term goal: A low-carbon economy contributes to limiting global average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and supports efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius
Medium-term target: By 2030, reduce Canada's total GHG emissions by 30%, relative to 2005 emission levels
Long-term goal: A growing clean technology industry in Canada contributes to clean growth and the transition to a low-carbon economy;
Medium-term target: Implement our Mission Innovation commitment to double federal government investments in clean energy research, development and demonstration, by 2020, from 2015 level.