The Role of R&D and Innovation in Achieving Canada’s Climate Goals

Entrepreneur Bill Gates believes that the Canadian government needs to invest in research and development in order to reach its climate goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.  Strategies put in place by the Canadian government thus far include the transition to renewable power sources, the implementation of a carbon tax and a push for the production of batteries for electrical vehicles. Gates has authored a book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, in which he discusses his plan for how countries can be successful in meeting climate targets.

In addition to government R&D incentives, Gates considers innovation by companies as essential to attaining these objectives. His view is supported by the research director of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, Jason Dion. Dion states that there is a need for safe projects such as electric vehicles as well as for more risky and uncertain projects with a higher reward. These risky projects require R&D as well as public investment according to Dion. He believes demand for climate solutions from the market mean that it is an issue which could have economic risks if ignored.

Gates also addresses the cost of transitioning to greener products, stating that tax credits can promote the purchase and use of more environmentally conscious products which can often be more costly. Furthermore, he states that innovation can aid in cutting the cost of these products and that this is why he considers innovation to be the key factor in reaching climate action goals.

Government incentives have been established for Canadian businesses, including the SR&ED tax incentive, which may aid companies researching the climate solutions Gates and Dion are hoping to find. If you would like to learn more about the SR&ED tax incentive, try our eligibility quiz.

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