National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy Issues its Final Report

On October 18th, Canada’s National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy published Framing the Future: Embracing a Low-Carbon Economy. The report begins from the position that “Canada is unprepared to compete in a carbon constrained world.” It outlines a low-carbon growth framework and action steps to achieve four main objectives: stimulate innovation, mobilize investment, enhance market access, and foster talent and skills development. The authors identify essential conditions required for future growth in all areas, emphasizing that “of all our key components of a low-carbon strategy, the most important and necessary is the establishment of long-term certainty on climate, energy, and innovation policies.”


Throughout the report, definitions are important. This is not a report about the “green economy”, rather, “we are exclusively focusing on the actions needed to bring about the low-carbon aspect of the “green economy”. The discussion is based on data and analysis about “low carbon growth sectors (LCGS)”, which are defined as energy (traditional and alternative), industrial processes, buildings, and efficient vehicles. Referring to our knowledge of the labour market, the authors cite two main problems: an unclear definition of green jobs and a lack of baseline information. In masterful understatement, they conclude that “The fact remains that Canada’s statistical capacity is not attuned to tracking growth in the low-carbon economy”. Despite these problems, the report provides statistical estimates: first, based on commissioned analysis by Analytica, it estimates the 2010 low-carbon economy direct employment at approximately 42,000 FTE (96,000 when indirect and induced employment is added). Second, using the CIMS model and Statistics Canada data to project performance and labour inputs by sector, it projects total labour inputs (direct, indirect and induced jobs) of 224,000 in 2050 under its Reference Case and 402,000 under its carbon-constrained scenario.


Framing the Future: Embracing a Low-Carbon Economy is available at: (English) and Définir notre avenir: Vers une économie faible en carbone est disponible à


This is the last in a six-part “Climate Prosperity” series and the final report of the organization. Note that the NRTEE will officially cease to exist on March 31, 2013.

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