I am delighted to see Steven Guilbeault be appointed as federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. A strong activist for climate change, Minister Guilbeault is being dubbed the ‘real deal’ by environmentalists. We wish the Minister all the best as he takes on a challenging portfolio. And we wish his predecessor, Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, all the best in his new role as Minister of Natural Resources Canada. Passive House Canada will continue to knock on the doors of both Ministries as we advocate for Passive House and zero emissions building. The Canadian public made it very clear in the October election that climate change was a top priority for them. We know a cornerstone of reducing GHGs rests with building and retrofitting better. Stay tuned as we talk to Ottawa.
Chris’s experience at COP-26
We are excited to announce that PHC was recognized by the United Nations as a Centre of Excellence in High-Performance Buildings at COP-26. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has re-launched the High-Performance Building Initiative at COP-26, with the goal of reducing the 40 per cent of CO2 emissions that buildings account for globally.
The focus of this initiative is on health, resilience and affordability and not solely energy and carbon reduction. This, of course, is the Passive House way. Only as governments across Canada implement building and retrofit standards equitable to Passive House will our country show a decrease in emissions. After all, our standard is a 30-year-old tried and tested standard that works — and we’ve got mounds of data to prove that. I’m also delighted to say we are putting the “passive house costs more” myth to bed. A recent Canadian study shows the cost premium for passive house was just two to three per cent, which is easily returned on lower operating and maintenance costs.
With COP-26 coming to an end this week, Canada has committed to significant climate change promises to meet the Paris Accord. I remain skeptical we will hit the 1.5C commitment of signatories. But commitments have been made to stop new direct public financing for coal, oil and gas development by 2022; to cap oil and gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent compared to the 2005 levels by 2030; and to achieve net-zero emissions within Canada’s electricity grid by 2035. There is hope!
If you are interested in the policy and advocacy work of PHC, feel free to visit our website and click on the Policy & Advocacy button on our front page. We welcome your input.