MONTREAL, July 24, 2023 - Équiterre welcomes the concrete measures announced by the federal government to put an end to the public subsidies that have been helping the fossil fuel industry. Today’s announcement is the culmination of many years of work to mobilize and convince the government to act on this issue.
"The new guidelines on inefficient subsidies are an important first step to transition the oil and gas sector to clean and renewable energy."
-Marc-André Viau, Équiterre’s Director of Government Relations
"These kinds of government measures must help to propel the creation of new sustainable employment opportunities, particularly in communities where a great number of jobs are currently linked to fossil fuel development," he adds.
In reducing its direct and indirect investments in fossil fuel projects, the federal government is being exemplary in its management of public funds. Investments in fossil fuel development projects are increasingly risky and irresponsible, especially at a time when Canada is experiencing extreme weather events fueled by climate change, the consequences of which continue to rise.
A few concerns
Équiterre is concerned, however, about the exemptions granted in today’s announcement, particularly for the development of marginal technological solutions such as carbon capture and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, which lock in future fossil fuel use.
"These are exit strategies on which the fossil fuel industry is banking heavily to maintain the status quo for their production. Taxpayers' money should not be used to prop them up. We will continue to pressure the government on the importance of not financially compensating the industry for its failures, and on the importance of ensuring that environmental obligations are respected," says Marc-André Viau.
As long as some forms of fossil fuel subsidies remain, there is still work to be done.
"Now that the guidelines are clear for what is an "inefficient subsidy", other types of subsidies will also have to be abandoned. The government has given positive signals on this and we're going to encourage it to move forward with the next steps as quickly as possible," concludes Marc-André Viau.
Équiterre's offices are located on Indigenous lands that have not been ceded by treaty, which we now call Montreal and Quebec City. We recognize that Indigenous peoples have protected their territories since immemorial times and have used their traditional knowledge to guard the lands and waters. We are grateful to live on these lands and are committed to continuing our efforts to protect them. Read more »