Canadian Plastics

Export Development Canada commits to net zero by 2050

The Crown corporation’s plan includes interim reduction targets for the six most carbon intensive sectors for 2023 and 2030.

July 26, 2021   Canadian Plastics

Export Development Canada (EDC) has committed to net zero emissions by 2050 across its business lines and in its own global operations.

In a July 22 news release, the Crown corporation said its plan – which will be rolled out in phases – includes interim reduction targets for the most carbon intensive sectors for 2023 and 2030, supported by sustainable finance objectives.

“We understand the urgency in addressing climate change and we want to do our part. We are dedicated to helping Canadian businesses innovate, support longer-term business growth, and become more competitive on the global stage through strong ESG practices,” said EDC president and CEO Mairead Lavery. “As the transition to a low carbon economy accelerates, EDC’s commitment to net zero must build on the momentum established over the past decade. We know that significant work remains to be done. We are still in the early stages of our net zero journey, and working closely with our customers, stakeholders, financial industry peers and government partners to drive change, while adopting best practices and standards will help us achieve our climate objectives.”

As Canada’s export credit agency, EDC’s role is to help Canadian companies seize growth opportunities through international trade for the benefit of Canadians. “In today’s global economy, strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices are a competitive accelerator,” EDC said. “As such, EDC’s commitment to net zero by 2050 is focused on enabling Canadian businesses, including those in natural resources and energy sectors, to position themselves for growth by investing in their ESG performance.”

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At this time, EDC has set a 2023 target of reducing its financing support to the six most carbon intensive sectors by 40 per cent below 2018 levels, and will set and publicly disclose 2030 science-based, sectoral emission intensity targets and a sustainable finance target by July 1, 2022. These initial interim targets will be focused on the most carbon intensive sectors (i.e., upstream oil and gas; airlines; cement manufacturing; metals smelting and processing; petrochemicals, refining chemicals and chemicals manufacturing; and thermal power generation); however, the organization says it will also be considering how to broaden targets to cover all sectors it supports. In light of its high carbon intensity, EDC will first focus its attention on the oil and gas industry, supporting Canadian companies as they innovate and reduce their emissions, while phasing out new direct government support for international carbon intensive fossil fuel projects and companies.

EDC says it remains focused on increasing its support to Canada’s cleantech sector and promoting innovative Canadian technologies that help drive down emissions. In 2012, EDC identified cleantech as a corporate priority. In 2020, EDC increased the number of cleantech companies it served by 29 per cent year-over-year to 288 companies, facilitating $4.5 billion in cleantech exports, investments and trade opportunities.

EDC’s net zero plan is detailed in the Backgrounder: EDC and Net Zero.


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