The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy has used its final report to chart a suggested route for Canada to make the transition to a low carbon economy and to profit from it.

The report is the last in a six-part series that looks at the economic risks and opportunities that global climate change presents.

"Canada needs a low-carbon growth plan. This is a basic conclusion of our analysis and of the feedback received from regional stakeholders," states the report titled Framing the Future: Embracing a Low-Carbon Economy.

Suggesting the country reduce its dependency carbon-intensive industries is a familiar refrain for the group. Many believe that is why the current government cut its funding in the last budget.

The government says the roundtable has served its purpose, but, more pointedly, some ministers said they didn't like the advice they got from the group.

At a news conference in Ottawa earlier this year, roundtable member Bob Mills argued that was the whole point of the group.

"I've always said that if you're smart you surround yourself with really smart people. And if you're dumb, you surround yourself with a bunch of cheerleaders. We don't need cheerleaders. What we need are smart people," said the former Conservative Party member for Red Deer, Alta.

The roundtable report argues that federal and provincial governments need to:

  • Stimulate low-carbon innovation.
  • Help home-grown firms get access to low-carbon markets.
  • Work together to encourage low-carbon talent and skills development.

The report also sees a role for the broader public and private sectors, calling for investment in low-carbon infrastructure and technology.

The report offers a final warning: "The potential consequences of Canada's collective failure to act promptly sum up as follows: missed opportunities and growing economic risk."