How will the Paris climate change deal affect you?

The signing of a major climate change agreement this month in Paris is a step forward on a macro-level for nations around the world attempting to mitigate the effects of carbon emissions, but what does it mean for the average person?

Will Canadians be driving electric cars more frequently? Will they fly less, and eat more locally-produced food? Will their houses be more energy efficient, or smaller?

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says it’s clear there will be shifts as Canada works to cut emissions.

“I think obviously there will be changes. We always hear ‘change in the way we do things.’ There are some really good opportunities when we look at energy efficiency of buildings, so looking at how we build in a more sustainable way and we see that even in reducing costs.”

In an interview with the West Block’s Tom Clark, McKenna stayed largely focused on the macro level, however, talking about how Canadian provinces and territories will work with Ottawa to put a price on carbon and how all governments – and private sector actors – must pour money into clean technologies and renewable energy.

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“We talked about eliminating the subsidies for fossil fuels,” McKenna added. “That sends a clear signal that we need to be thinking about how are moving to a more sustainable future.”

The minister would not say, however, if the elimination of those subsidies would be included in the next federal budget, stating that Canada must move forward “thoughtfully” to avoid major economic disruption.

“We’re going to think about how do we do this in a way that will absolutely reduce emissions, but in a way that makes sure we’re looking at creating jobs and we’re creating opportunities for amazing companies out there,” she said.

“We have very ingenious Canadian companies that I know that are moving in this direction.”

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