Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change pegs the real estate industry as a future beneficiary of a low-carbon economy. Addressing a crowd he called “the biggest group of suit environmentalist there is” at the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Greater Toronto’s annual awards gala last night, Glen Murray promoted the gains to be reaped from breaking the fossil fuel habit or, alternatively, the consequences of the status quo.
“I need your help in a way that no other politician has ever needed your industry,” he implored.
The Minister painted a dire picture of a world projected to be hotter by 4° Celsius by 2100 if the pace of global warming continues unabated. Ominous fallout is already apparent in California’s prolonged drought and the endangered ocean reefs.
“California produces 30 per cent of our food. What climate change is about is our food supply,” Murray warned. “If we lose our reefs, we lose 60 per cent of marine life.”
On the flipside, he suggested there are plenty of ways to prosper from the investment in infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency that will be needed to create a more climate-friendly economy. Indeed, the BOMA Toronto gala is a celebration of the same kind of innovation in using fewer resources more productively.
“The awards you are giving out tonight are to brilliant, creative Canadians,” Murray asserted. “In the design of our carbon market, we will be talking about carbon productivity. It’s not about carbon pricing.”