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Sustainable Growth: Leveraging FDI for the Green Industrial Revolution

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The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) took place from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  

Since the inception of the first UN climate agreement in 1992, this conference stands as a pivotal platform where nations unite to address climate change, emphasizing the critical importance of tackling this pressing issue on a global scale. Through our collective engagement we can champion sustainability, emphasizing the importance of shared responsibility and international cooperation in safeguarding our planet for future generations. 

Laurel Broten, CEO of Invest in Canada, took part in these discussions to highlight clean growth and sustainable investment opportunities into Canada, how foreign direct investments (FDI) helps achieve sustainability goals and why Canada possesses a wealth of opportunities that offer global companies a compelling value proposition to make clean energy investments. 



Canada’s leadership in sustainability: Paving the way for a greener future 

Canada takes centre stage in spearheading sustainability efforts. It’s one of the most attractive countries for green energy projects and green energy incentives, one of the top G7 countries on the Green Future Index, and one of the world’s most sustainable countries

In steering the course towards a cleaner and more environmentally conscious future, Canada has pledged to harness the necessary technologies and energy systems to achieve the ambitious targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. In alignment with this commitment, Invest in Canada attracts FDI that helps achieve sustainability goals. 

In this journey towards a greener future, global companies are looking for an investment destination that will allow them to drive a sustainability agenda. Canada is strategically positioned to meet the rising demands for successful sustainable investments and offers a compelling value proposition for companies to make green projects. From a diversified green energy mix that harnesses the potential of hydrogen, hydroelectricity, and wind and solar power, biofuels, and critical minerals to a supportive policy environment for clean energy and a diverse and highly educated workforce, Canada offers many opportunities for global business leaders seeking to propel a greener future.  

These recent investments demonstrate Canada’s leadership in green innovation:  

  • Northvolt (Sweden), Saint-Basile-le-Grand and McMasterville, Québec: 

  • The electric vehicle battery hub will include a cathode active materials (CAM) facility, a battery cell manufacturing facility and a battery recycling operation. The factory will have an annual production capacity of up to 60 GWh, enough for one million electric cars.  

  • Estimated investment: $7 billion 

  • Rio Tinto Group (United Kingdom), Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Québec: 

  • Rio Tinto will be building one of the world’s most advanced, efficient and cleanest aluminium smelters, creating low-carbon aluminium for use in transportation, construction, electrical and consumer goods. The new smelter generates seven times fewer greenhouse gases per tonne of aluminium produced than the industry average.  

  • Estimated investment: $1.4 billion  

  • Umicore (Belgium), Loyalist, Ontario  

  • Umicore is building a 35 GWh equivalent battery materials production plant to serve the North American market for electric vehicle batteries.  

  • Estimated investment: $2.1 billion  

  • Cellcentric (Germany), Burnaby, British Columbia 

  • Fuel stack production facility producing Hydrogen fuel cells for long-haul trucking. 

  • Air Liquide (France), Bécancour, Québec  

  • Supplied with renewable energy, this facility is now producing up to 8.2 tonnes per day of low-carbon hydrogen. Compared to the traditional hydrogen production process, this new 20 MW production unit will avoid the emission of around 27,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to the emissions of 10,000 cars per year.  

Canada’s commitment to sustainability, clean energy and innovation strongly resonates with investors, aligning perfectly with path toward a sustainable and resilient future.  

Unlocking progress: the impact of FDI on sustainable development 

Beyond financial growth, FDI plays a pivotal role in advancing net-zero targets by injecting capital into sustainable projects and initiatives, facilitating the development and implementation of innovative technologies, and energy efficient practices. This, in turn, contributes to the reduction of carbon footprints and accelerates the transition towards a greener and more sustainable future for Canada and for the world. 

The collaborative nature of FDI fosters international cooperation, breaking down barriers and creating a shared purpose. For Canada, FDI is crucial to achieve its sustainability development goals by providing the crucial resources needed to implement large-scale and complex projects that foster innovation in sustainable technologies. 

Navigating the transition of the world to non-emitting sources is undeniably challenging and cannot happen overnight. Much like the Industrial Revolution posed great challenges, this new Green Revolution presents its own set of complexities and opportunities as we transition to sustainable industrial green energy projects. Canada stands out as a world leading destination for seizing these opportunities and turning them into successful investments.     

The challenges we face are interconnected, demanding collaborative efforts to create lasting change. As we collectively strive for a greener tomorrow, Invest in Canada Canada continues to work towards a greener and more sustainable and prosperous future for Canada.