Climate Change Investment Fund

The Motion:

Sponsored by: Phil Ferraro (this motion needs four co-sponsors - please indicate whether you would be willing to co-sponsor this motion).

See the full motion, including supporting evidence, here.

Whereas government action is essential to respond to the climate change reality;

Whereas access to capital is often a barrier for investment in fossil fuel reduction initiatives;

Whereas mechanisms to incentivize investments in clean energy and green technologies are  important means for provincial governments to act to reduce fossil fuel use;

Whereas community investment funds have been used with success in other jurisdictions to raise capital for social enterprises;

Therefore be it resolved that the Green Party of PEI seek that a government-sponsored climate change investment fund (CCIF) be established  to support and encourage investment in enterprises that can bring forth a reduction in fossil fuel consumption in Prince Edward Island.

This CCIF would facilitate the reduction in fossil fuel usage through a program whereby the Provincial government would offer tax credits for those investing in enterprises that provide goods, services and technologies that reduce fossil fuel usage. The program could be modelled on the Nova Scotia Community Economic-Development Investment Fund or other similar initiatives.

Background:

Climate change is one of the largest threats humanity has ever faced. Sea levels are rising, weather patterns are being disrupted, storms are more frequent and more intense, the ocean is acidifying, biodiversity is becoming more strained, agriculture is suffering in many places, and refugees are beginning to leave their homes due to increasingly, hostile environments.

As an Island, PEI is one of the most vulnerable regions in North America. There is a need for policies to encourage investments that enable a transition to a truly sustainable future.  Provincial governments can play a key role in providing incentives for such investments. 

In a recent survey of over 4,000 Canadians (insert link to survey), 91% of respondents either strongly or somewhat supported a new program that would include a massive investment in clean energy, green technology, and electrification to reduce carbon emissions in Canada to net-zero by 2050.

A community investment fund (CIF) is a pool of capital which is raised from individuals to invest in for-profit entities within a defined community. These funds are controlled by a local group of officers and directors accountable to the investors. An example of this type of fund, the Community Economic and Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) was established in Nova Scotia and has operated successfully for many years. In that province, CEDIFs can raise capital through an exempt public offering and advertise its shares to the public. Examples of successful social enterprises that benefited from CEDIF include Just Us Coffee, NS FarmWorks and several community owned wind farms.

Examples of the initiatives that could be targeted by a climate-focused CIF may include refurbishing and construction of buildings to reach net-zero heat loss, regenerative agriculture, clean transportation options.

Click here for a policy paper with more in-depth background on the idea.