This Green House II: Building Momentum on Green Jobs and Climate Action Through Energy Retrofits Across Canada

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By Robert Duffy and Charley Beresford

March 2016

Columbia Institute
Centre for Civic Governance
2600—1055 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6E 3R5


This Green House II builds on the research behind our earlier report on local government-led retrofit programs. When we published This Green House I in 2011, local improvement charge (LIC) retrofit financing — a proven and secure mechanism for financing residential improvements — and its twin sister, on-bill financing, were relatively new ideas in Canada.

Since then, Ontario and Nova Scotia have both changed their legislation, allowing local governments to use this innovative financing mechanism to support climate action. Local governments have jurisdiction over construction and renovations and bring the necessary know-how, initiative, and leadership to make this happen. The good news is that communities in those provinces are stepping up to the plate.

Innovative leadership on energy retrofits is the fastest way to take action on climate change. At current emission rates, the entire carbon budget for a 50 per cent chance of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees will be exhausted by 2025.The time for action is now.

Our goal is that Canada’s provinces and territories follow up on this innovation and make the minor legislative changes needed to open the door to local government leadership on retrofits and climate action. It’s a win-win.



A paper from a colleague organization