The Liberal government’s fall economic update unveiled a commitment to battle so-called “environmental racism” as part of its strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

The 2023 Fall Economic Statement was presented to the House of Commons Tuesday by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and it included billion in new spending. 

Citing investments in a clean economy and safeguarding vulnerable minority groups, the update linked the concept to Ottawa’s fight against climate change.

“Investments in a clean economy are an important part of Canada’s plan to reach net-zero by 2050. Achieving this plan will ultimately help protect those that are most at risk of climate change, especially women, Indigenous people, and residents of rural and coastal communities. Fighting climate change also fights environmental racism,” reads the update. 

“Environmental racism” is a concept promoted by climate activists, who argue that climate change and carbon dioxide pollution disproportionately affect minority groups. 

“Environmental racism refers to the disproportionate burden of environmental hazards placed on racialized individuals, groups and communities due to environmental policies, laws and decisions,” writes the Government of Canada.

This is not the first time that Ottawa has embarked on the fight against what it calls environmental racism. 

The federal government has since endorsed Private Member’s Bill C-226, also titled “An Act respecting the development of a national strategy to assess, prevent and address environmental racism and to advance environmental justice.”

“This enactment requires the Minister of the Environment, in consultation or cooperation with any interested persons, bodies, organizations or communities, to develop a national strategy to promote efforts across Canada to address the harm caused by environmental racism. It also provides for reporting requirements in relation to the strategy,” the bill reads. 

The bill is currently before a Senate committee for consideration.