Effectively addressing the interconnected dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss calls for a whole-of-government approach to ensure all government regulation, policy, and spending are aligned with climate change and nature goals and commitments. Many government decisions have the potential to support or hinder climate change mitigation and influence climate adaptation and resilience. Similarly, government decisions may support or hinder Canada’s commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and achieve full recovery by 2050.
In 2020, the Government of Canada committed to creating a “climate lens” to consider the climate impact of policies, plans, and programs. The 2022 Emissions Reduction Plan indicated that development was underway on an “Integrated Climate Lens [that] will take into account climate, economic and inclusivity considerations to inform policy development and government decision-making across federal departments”. Additionally, during the 2021 federal election, a commitment was made to include biodiversity in the climate lens.
The Green Budget Coalition applauds these developments and recommends the following actions to maximize their potential benefits [PCO, FIN, ECCC]:
- Immediately begin implementing the Integrated Climate Lens to evaluate Budget 2023 proposals.
- In Budget 2023, using results from the Climate Lens assessment, publish a summary of the Budget’s overall climate impacts.
- To support rigour, transparency, and accountability, ensure assessments are based on transparent methodologies, measurable indicators, and clear assessment criteria that are made publicly available. This should include assessing decisions against scenarios where global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees.
- Incorporate biodiversity into the Lens for Budget 2024, and apply it to programs and spending by the end of 2023.