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Open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Published on 

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2

September 1, 2016

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

We call on your government to commit to ending Canada’s fossil fuel subsidies by 2020, as a strong show of international leadership that would inspire other G20 governments to do the same. In parallel to these efforts, the federal government should work with other levels of government to encourage a timely phase-out of provincial and territorial fossil fuel subsidies.

At the G20 leaders meeting in China on September 4th and 5th one of the issues on
the agenda is putting a clear, concrete deadline on the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, including wasteful handouts to oil, gas, and coal companies. As you know, G20 leaders originally agreed to phase out fossil fuel subsidies “over the medium term” in 2009. It’s now 2016, yet little progress has been made, especially in Canada.

While the Liberal Party of Canada committed in its platform to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies in line with this G20 commitment, the Government of Canada has so far not taken action to phase out over $1 billion in annual subsidies the federal government provides to oil, gas, and coal companies.

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, and the wasteful nature of fossil fuel subsidies, we call on the Government of Canada to begin phasing out fossil fuel subsidies now, and to commit to phasing out all fossil fuel subsidies by no later than 2020. Please find attached our detailed recommendation to that effect. This would also position Canada as a positive force in the G20 discussions on ending fossil fuel subsidies, leading by example and pushing other G20 countries to follow suit.

Ending Canada’s fossil fuel subsidies is not only important to cement Canada’s national leadership on climate change and to avoid wasting taxpayer resources; it’s also an important step toward meeting Canada’s climate change obligations. As Canadian governments are currently engaged in a national discussion on establishing a Canada-wide price on carbon, it is important to highlight that Canada’s fossil fuel subsidies act as a negative carbon price – an incentive to pollute. The International Energy Agency estimates that, globally, fossil fuel subsidies amount to an incentive to pollute of $115 per tonne of CO2. By continuing to subsidize fossil fuels, the Government of Canada undermines efforts to put a meaningful price on carbon.

To protect the climate, Canadian taxpayers, and Canada’s standing in the world, we
call on your government to commit to ending Canada’s fossil fuel subsidies by 2020. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.


  • Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique
  • (AQLPA)
  • Citizens' Climate Lobby Canada
  • Climate Action Network-Réseau action climat Canada
  • ClimateFast
  • Council of Canadians
  • David Suzuki Foundation
  • Development and Peace
  • Ecology Action Centre
  • Ecology Ottawa
  • Environmental Defence
  • Équiterre
  • Friends of the Earth Canada
  • Greenpeace Canada
  • JustEarth
  • Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition
  • Manitoba Wildlands
  • Oil Change International
  • Sierra Club Canada Foundation
  • The Climate Reality Project Canada
  • Transition Initiative Kenora
  • United Church of Canada
  • Vegans & Vegetarians of Alberta
  • West Coast Environmental Law Association
  • Windfall Ecology Centre
Fichier attachéTaille canada-ffs-submission-july-2016-final.pdf204.14 Ko