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Canada’s support to the oil & gas industry during the 2020 crisis reached $14.4 billion

In contrast, the Government’s new climate plan commits $12 billion to climate initiatives – spread over 10 years

Canada’s support to the oil & gas industry during the 2020 crisis reached $14.4 billion

Ottawa, April 16 - Neftegaz.RU. Despite repeated promises to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, Canada’s federal financial support to the oil & gas industry during the 2020 crisis reached $14.4 billion, Canadian organization Environmental Defence said in a report.

According to the report, the federal government provided or announced it would provide $2.6 billion in direct subsidy programs and another $10.7 billion in public financing funneled to oil & gas companies primarily through a non-transparent crown corporation, Export Development Canada.

Julia Levin, Climate and Energy Program Manager at Canadian Environmental Defence, said:
  • For too long, Canadian governments have been propping up the fossil fuel industry, using tax dollars to fill the coffers of oil and gas corporations – the very companies and activities most responsible for the climate crisis
  • Not only is this behaviour incompatible with ensuring a safe and healthy future – this is money removed from public budgets that could otherwise be spent on a just and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • We’re giving away wealth to oil and gas companies at the expense of the general public
Canada 1st announced its commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in 2009
The country now provides more public finance for fossil fuels than any G20 country other than China – and the most on a per capita basis.

Yet momentum to end public finance of fossil fuels among Canada’s peers and major trade partners is snowballing.
The UK has already announced it will no longer provide public finance to overseas fossil fuel projects, and President Joe Biden has made eliminating fossil fuels subsidies and public finance a priority.

Julia Levin noted:
  • Both the upcoming federal budget and Earth Day Leaders Summit on Climate are great opportunities for Canada to announce plans to redirect the support going to fossil fuels and instead put Canada on a path to a genuinely healthier and more resilient future, one that leaves no one behind
  • As the government continues to provide unprecedented recovery fundings in response to COVID-19, now is the time to pursue a long-term, planned exit from fossil fuel production that avoids prolonging and deepening the chaos of the past few months, by providing ample support for workers and communities
Ian Cameron, press secretary for the minister of natural resources, however, disputed some of the findings and figures in Environmental Defence’s report.
A significant portion of the new support provided to oil and gas during the COVID-19 pandemic was under the guise of job creation and achieving environmental outcomes.

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