Archived - Sustainable Development Strategy: 
Planned Results for 2002-03

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The Department of Finance’s 2001-03 sustainable development strategy (SDS) was released in February 2001. Finance’s two key goals in sustainable development for 2001-03 are ensuring intergenerational equity and more fully integrating economic, social and environmental considerations and objectives into policy making. To help focus the Department’s efforts on these goals, the 2001-03 SDS identifies four theme areas or key issues upon which to base action over the three years: Building the Future; Integrating the Economy and the Environment; Sustainable Development in the Global Economy; and Greening Operations. The Department’s sustainable development action plan sets out a number of objectives and targeted actions for 2001-03 in each of these theme areas. The following table shows the planned results for fiscal year 2002-03 for each targeted action.


Actions for 2001-03

Planned Results for 2002-03


Key Issue:  Building the Future

Objective: Maintaining a Healthy Fiscal Climate

Continue to pursue the Government’s Debt Repayment Plan to ensure the debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio remains on a permanent downward track

In the December 2001 federal budget, the Government announced it would post balanced budgets or better for 2001-02 and 2002-03. In 2002-03, the debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to fall to 49.9 per cent, from 51.8 per cent in 2000-01.

Continue implementation of the Government’s Five-Year Tax Reduction Plan

As part of the Government’s long-term fiscal plan, the December 2001 budget announced that the $100-billion Five-Year Tax Reduction Planwould be fully protected, despite the recent period of economic uncertainty. Most of the measures contained in the Planhave now been implemented.


Objective: Building a Strong Society

Ensure predictable and growing funding for health and social programs

Maintain long-term Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST) funding arrangement set out with provinces and territories in September 2000 and confirmed in Budget 2001.

Conduct a mid-term review of the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST) in 2003-04 and set a new five-year legislative funding track by the end of 2003-04

Regular federal-provincial/territorial consultations will be held on the CHST and other transfer-related issues.

Ensure fiscal disparities are addressed through the equalization and Territorial Formula Financing programs

In the lead up to program renewal in 2003-04, federal and provincial officials will continue to examine the Equalization program to ensure it continues to function as intended. Federal and territorial officials will similarly examine Territorial Formula Financing.

Monitor developments and make adjustments when necessary, or in the context of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) 2001-03 review, to ensure that the retirement income system remains sustainable and meets seniors’ needs Federal and provincial/territorial officials will continue their work on the 2001-03 review of the CPP.

Objective: Implementing Key Federal Sustainable Development Priorities
In the context of planning for future budgets, work with other federal departments and stakeholders to identify ways to address sustainable development priorities Continue to participate in discussions with stakeholders and in interdepartmental discussions. For instance, the department will continue to work closely with stakeholders and other departments in implementing the Wind Power Production Incentive and the changes to the Green Municipal funds that were announced in Budget 2001.

 

Key Issue:  Integrating the Economy and the Environment

Objective: Using the Tax System

Examine areas where the tax system may be having an impact on the longer-term goals of sustainable development

The Department will continue to monitor the tax system and assess its impact on the achievement of the Government’s sustainable development goals.

The 2001 budget extended the existing intergenerational tax-deferred rollover available for farm property to transfers of commercial woodlots that are operated in accordance with a prescribed forest management plan. Specific criteria for prescribed forest management plans will be developed in consultation with interested parties.

Assess policy options aimed at levelling the playing field between various economic activities

The Department played a key role in the design of the production incentive for renewable energy, announced in the 2001 budget, which will result in more investment in wind energy projects. The Department also announced changes to Class 43.1 in the 2001 budget. In 2002, the Department will consult with industry to determine whether additional improvements are required, including a streamlined process for eligibility.

Evaluate all environment-related tax proposals received from stakeholders, including those to encourage environmentally positive activities and discourage environmentally negative ones

The Department will continue to evaluate all such proposals, including proposals relating to the use of excise levies, to achieve environmental objectives.


Objective: Developing Uses of Economic Instruments

Lead further work on the design of a potential greenhouse gas emissions trading system in co-operation with other federal departments, other governments and stakeholders

A domestic emissions trading analysis group was established by the Climate Change Secretariat to conduct and co-ordinate work on emissions trading under the federal-provincial climate change process. Finance will continue to participate in work on emissions trading into 2002-03 through its participation in the federal-provincial Domestic Emissions Trading Working Group (DETWG). The DETWG plans to complete its report to federal and provincial ministers of energy and the environment in 2002.

Continue to conduct economic research and analysis, including through the use of one of the economic models the Department maintains, to assess the potential costs of a major economic instrument, such as emissions trading, and other policy options to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases

The Department will continue its program of research in these areas in 2002-03.

Participate in an initiative led by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) on ecological fiscal reform (EFR) over 2000-02

Continue to participate in the work of the EFR program should it extend into 2002-03.

Monitor and evaluate the use of economic instruments in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries

The Department will continue to monitor the use of these instruments in other OECD countries.

As necessary, it will participate in and evaluate the work of OECD groups studying the linkages between economic and environmental policies as well as future trends in tax policies with environmental implications.


Objective: Integrated Decision Making – Increasing the Knowledge Base

Participate in the Budget 2000 initiative on environmental and sustainable development indicators led by NRTEE and Environment Canada over 2000-03

Continue to participate in NRTEE’s Environmental and Sustainable Development Indicators (ESDIs) Initiative as a member of the Steering Committee. Also, attend a conference and workshop on the proposed indicators in 2002.

Prepare a case study on different nations’ use of assistance for green power to be completed by 2003

Identify the scope of the study and case countries.

Develop an inventory of economic research on the links between the new economy and the environment beginning in 2001 Compile research on links for a centrally held inventory.

 

Key Issue:  Sustainable Development in the Global Economy

Objective: Participating in Negotiating International Environmental Agreements

Assist in the preparation of Canada’s approach to international negotiations on climate change

Participate in interdepartmental and stakeholder meetings on developing Canada’s approach to climate change.

Support initiatives to enhance the understanding of linkages between multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and trade rules

Participate in the development of the Canadian position for multilateral negotiations on the relationship between existing World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and trade obligations set out in MEAs, as called for in the Doha Ministerial Declaration.


Objective: Integrating Environment Into Future Negotiations on Trade and Investment Agreements

Work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) on trade and environment linkages in the context of the WTO and possible future trade negotiations

Participate in the development of the Canadian position for multilateral negotiations on trade and the environment, as called for in the Doha Ministerial Declaration.

Monitor or participate in the work of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE). More specifically, help prepare the report that the CTE has been mandated to submit at the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference in 2003.

Work with DFAIT and Industry Canada to promote free trade in the environmental sector and continue to review specific requests to remove tariffs where they are identified as a significant disincentive to the acquisition of environmental technology products

Develop the Canadian position for negotiations as a follow-up to the Doha Ministerial Declaration. The Declaration calls for negotiations on the reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services.


Objective: Developing Environmental Assessment Guidelines for Export Credit Agencies

Together with DFAIT, actively participate in and contribute to the work of developing common environmental guidelines for export credit agencies at the OECD and at the G-8 level

Canada joins all OECD members, except the US and Turkey, in implementing an agreed framework for the environmental review of projects supported by official export credit agencies. The Department will continue to work with DFAIT and Export Development Canada to ensure sound environmental practices.


Objective: Working With International Financial Institutions (IFIs)

Promote macroeconomic stability in the international financial system and in individual emerging economies

The Department will continue providing policy advice to Canada’s Executive Directors at the IFIs on key macroeconomic policy documents. These include country economic assessments under the Article IV and World Bank Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) discussions. Both facilitate an annual examination of the macroeconomic and financial well-being of least developed and developing countries. More broadly, the Department’s leadership role in the G-20 (the G-20 includes the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) involves working towards strengthening the international financial system.

Support the work of IFIs in the development of alternative energy projects

The Department will continue to monitor major policy work by the IFIs in the area of sustainable development. The Department will continue to support the World Bank’s alternative energy projects.

Work with IFIs, civil society and other stakeholders to operationalize the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) as a practical strategy for promoting long-term sustainable development in poor countries

While the CDF has largely been mainstreamed into the day-to-day operations of the IFIs, certain challenges remain, such as ensuring environmental protection is included in the World Bank’s CASs and individual country Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. The Department will continue to work with all stakeholders to promote long-term sustainable development in an efficient, transparent, cost-conscious and results-based framework.

Expand the focus on sustainable development in the Department’s annual reports to Parliament on the Bretton Woods institutions and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

The Department’s annual reports to Parliament on the Bretton Woods institutions and the EBRD, to be tabled in spring 2003, will continue to emphasize sustainable development, demonstrating Canada’s strong support for this issue.


Objective: Increasing Knowledge and Understanding of International Environmental Financial Practices

Participate in upcoming activities and conferences of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Financial Services Initiatives

Pursue initiatives within UNEP to increase knowledge of ethical financial practices:

  • continue to attend conferences and events on related subjects; and
  • play an active role in the interdepartmental Corporate Environmental Innovation Group.

 

Key Issue:  Greening Operations

Objective: Enhancing Awareness of the Environmental Impact of Our Operations

Develop and implement a communications strategy to encourage the adoption of best practices

Communication strategy will be implemented.

Promote Earth Day and Canadian Environment Week

Activities are based on a theme provided by the co-ordinators of these initiatives. The Department will participate in the Commuter Challenge (a competition among departments comparing the number of employees who opt for alternatives to driving to work) and will host several employee awareness events to promote Earth Day and Canadian Environment Week.


Objective: Developing Tools and Implementing Programs to Support Best Practices

Review the Department’s existing internal environmental programs

Program review process underway and planned for completion in 2002-03.

Establish baselines and benchmarks for progress in five areas (solid waste, energy use, fleet management, procurement and toxic substances)

Baselines and benchmarks will be established for Energy Efficiency Awareness, Purchasing Guide, Duplex Photocopying, Side-Saddle Program, Toxic Substances, and Procurement-Related Training.

Develop departmental inventories in key areas for regulated substances

Inventories will be conducted.

Promote the use of ethanol-blended fuels for Finance’s three vehicles

A glove box list of ethanol fuel service providers will be developed and distributed to all fleet drivers.

Develop a purchasing guide for and provide related training to the relevant departmental employees

Meetings with acquisition cardholders will be held to establish the requirements of a green purchasing guide. Using the above information, a purchasing guide will be developed and related training administered.

Develop means for selling debt to Canadians electronically

Canada Investment and Savings plans to enhance its electronic access options for Canada Savings Bonds and Canada Premium Bonds, building on the experience gained from launching the direct Internet and telephone purchase options, and the E-Campaign pilot with employers.