The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reminds us that our policies in place are heading us towards global warming of 3.2°C, putting life as we know it at risk.

It is therefore easy to slip into doomerism⁠1 – for those who are not already devoured by eco-anxiety. However, the federal government’s budget brightens the mood a little with its $83 billion earmarked for the energy transition.

I am optimistic, you will tell me, but I believe that we are facing something like the beginning of an ecological movement.

The latter is fueled by the alignment of low-carbon technologies (renewable energy, heat pumps and sustainable and active mobility) with the popular and political will to act in the face of the climate crisis.

The Russian invasion destabilized global natural gas and oil markets, creating massive demand for stable energy systems. In the short term, Europe has looked to the global market in order to obtain natural gas, but it is particularly difficult and expensive to obtain gas overseas; costly infrastructure must be built and the gas liquefied. Besides, spending billions of dollars to depend again and again on foreign forces is unattractive; countries are therefore seeking the stability as well as the economic benefits that renewable energy offers. In addition, it deploys much faster than liquefied natural gas (LNG) ports and reduces GHGs.

The energy trilemma – economy, security and the environment – ​​now works in favor of renewable energies. This is what explains the ambitious European climate and industrial policies.

That said, here we are on the other side of the Atlantic in the summer of 2022 and inflation is raging. The US President, seeing the midterm elections coming, is stingy with solutions and seeks to leave his mark – the IRA will be his legacy. Hundreds of billions of dollars are earmarked to stimulate the green economy⁠2.

The title seems misleading: how can we lower inflation with subsidies?

Well, think again, high energy prices are a significant source of inflation. Biden therefore kills three birds with one stone: he stimulates the American economy, reduces inflation and fights climate change. The IRA projects to reduce US GHGs by 42%⁠3 between 2005 and 2030. For green businesses, this is the boost they have been waiting for.

But now the European and Canadian business communities are worried: their competitors are being offered huge subsidies. They therefore call on their own governments to do the same. So Europe gets its Green New Deal, and Canada offers a Canadian version of the IRA through its latest budget.

Others will adapt their business models to tackle the climate crisis – something that would not be possible without these programs.

Is it sufficient ? Of course not, and the IPCC was most cutting edge!

For example, carbon capture can make deep-sea oil projects, such as Bay du Nord, carbon neutral. It’s absurd: oil pollutes. This qualification with the aftertaste of greenwashing is possible only because Ottawa calculates its emissions with blinders⁠4. The same can be said of blue hydrogen⁠5 which would be as polluting as coal in view of natural gas leaks from hydraulic fracturing. Moreover, these leaks jeopardize the health of residents living nearby.

Conversely, energy sobriety and active mobility are effective and affordable measures, but omitted from this budget.

It remains that this budget weaves the industrial network necessary for a green economy. These policies are both remarkable and insufficient – ​​we are not even close to doing our fair share to stay below 1.5°C.

The climate movement must therefore accelerate and this budget reaches out to entrepreneurs to join the movement.