LASER TALK: Canada Must End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

LASER TALK: Canada Must End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada supports the elimination of all energy subsidies, including using Canadian tax dollars to build pipelines, as well as full-cost pricing of fossil-based fuels. [1].

Ending fossil fuel subsidies was a clear and specific promise in the Liberal Government’s 2015 election platform [2] yet they declined to do anything about them in their first budget [3] stating the “now is not the moment” to ramp back government subsidies for the oil and gas industry hammered by an oil glut [3]. According to a 2016 report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development,  Canada gives out about $3.3 billion (CDN) for oil and gas producers [4].  This includes measures like reduced property taxes and special tax deductions for the industry, as well as direct infusions of cash from the government to companies.

The International Monetary Fund, notes that subsides for burning fossil fuels enrich the wealthy and make air pollution worse [5].

We are  not alone in our demand for the end of subsidizing fossil fuels. In August 2016, three of the world’s biggest insurance companies called on the G-20 nations to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2020. The statement read: “Given the urgency of the climate change crisis, underscored by the Paris agreement reached in December of 2015, the next steps on this commitment are long overdue.” [6]

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Oil and gas subsidies across Canada. Image: IISD

  1. https://canada.citizensclimatelobby.org/carbon-fee-and-dividend/
  2. https://www.liberal.ca/files/2015/08/A-new-plan-for-Canadas-environment-and-economy.pdf
  3. http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/03/23/oil-patch-woes-give-federal-liberals-cold-feet-on-cutting-fossil-fuel-subsidies-2/#.V-lw-fArKUk 
  4. http://www.iisd.org/faq/ffs/canada/
  5. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fossil-fuel-subsidies-cost-5-trillion-annually-and-worsen-pollution/
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/30/leading-insurers-tell-g20-to-stop-funding-fossil-fuels-by-2020