Why low-carbon cleantech is a huge opportunity in Canada now

Carbon-pricing schemes are an emerging standard, and “decarbonizing” the economy will be worth billions for sustainability innovators

In March, Canada’s federal and provincial governments agreed to institute a framework for clean growth and climate change by 2017. A carbon-pricing mechanism is key to any future agreement: Taxing carbon both curbs emissions and produces revenue that can be reinvested in cleaner energy initiatives. British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec already have carbon-pricing programs; in June, Ontario announced an $8.3 billion plan to encourage consumers and businesses to switch to cleaner technologies. “There are huge business opportunities that are going to come from decarbonizing,” says Céline Bak, president of Analytica Advisors, an Ottawa-based firm that monitors and reports on Canada’s clean technology sector. “As we apply a price on carbon, we are going to create a business environment that requires firms to innovate. It may take some time, but it will create a far more dynamic [business] environment.”

This infographic provides a snapshot of Canada’s carbon economy now—and how it might change in the coming years:

Infographic showing the various components of Canada’s carbon economy