For Immediate release
Canadian Association for the Club of Rome calls on all federal Parties to end subsidies to fossil fuels
August 25, 2021
OTTAWA – Canada needs to ignore the lack of international consensus around defining ‘inefficient fossil fuel subsidies,’ and simply eliminate all fossil subsidies as per the World Trade Organization’s agreed-upon definition of subsidies.
While the Liberal Government agreed to ‘phase out all inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025,’ the lack of international consensus on defining ‘inefficient’ is holding back any progress, and delaying Canada’s delivery of this G20 commitment.
Subsidies that need to be eliminated include tax breaks, direct spending, loans and loan guarantees, and using the public purse to pay for environmental clean-up, to name just a few. These federal subsidies in 2020 alone amounted to $1.9 billion, not including subsidies from arms-length agencies like Export Development Canada, which also supports fossil fuel companies.
“Recently, the Prime Minister committed Canada to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030,” says CACOR Chair Jean Dougherty. “But how are we going to achieve this, and how are we going to achieve our Paris climate obligations, if we continue to subsidize fossil fuels?”
According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada has the highest emissions growth of G7 countries since the Paris agreement was signed. “Instead of subsidizing fossil fuels,” says Dougherty “Canada should be demonstrating leadership in a wide range of sustainable cleantech and renewable solutions. Such leadership would be well received both internationally and by Canadians.
Canada has been committed to addressing the issue of subsidies since 2009, but there has been no demonstrable progress on this file by either Liberal or Conservative governments.
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