Chris Christopher and Lexpert Discuss Canada's Clean Growth Framework

June 16, 2017

Canada’s recently released Pan-Canadian Climate Change Framework focuses on clean growth and climate change in order to both stimulate the economy and to reduce our global environmental footprint. In December 2016, the framework was introduced with specific carbon tax/cap and trade regime implementation plans, and the 2017 federal budget included a plan for a “clean growth economy” in support of the framework (you can read our analysis here). As it progresses, the framework will evolve to suit each individual province and territory’s greenhouse gas reduction needs.

One of the major aspects of the pan-Canadian framework is “the reduction of emissions through increased use of renewable energy.” Chris Christopher, a partner in Torys’ Calgary office, discussed renewable energy development with Lexpert, whose 2017 Guide to the Leading Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada includes a special feature regarding the current state and future implications of the pan-Canadian framework. Christopher says developers worldwide “have capital ready to invest and they’re looking for opportunities to deploy it for a number of reasons: they believe in renewable energy and/or the technology is improving so the cost of deploying these technologies is decreasing, and the profits are therefore increasing.”

Christopher also discussed how Canada is appealing for U.S. renewables investors as the Trump administration has an apparent focus on “traditional” forms of energy, contrasting greatly with the Obama administration which financially backed renewable energy developers. As energy hubs in Canada, such as Alberta’s energy market, gear up to attract investment through initiatives including proposing renewables subsidies, Chris believes that companies that “can ‘balance sheet finance’ a project—funding the project through their own cash flow or corporate debt facilities based on their balance sheet, as opposed to relying on cash flow from the actual project—may find [Alberta] more attractive.”

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