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Press release  •  1 min

Équiterre's reaction to the future cap on emissions from the fossil fuel sector

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Dubai, December 7, 2023 - Direct from COP28, Équiterre welcomes the tabling of the regulatory framework for capping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the oil and gas sector. The framework, however, will need to be made more stringent and its timeline will need to be moved forward if it is to achieve its objective.

The federal government has announced a cap-and-trade system to reverse the upward trend in emissions from Canada's fossil fuel industry.

"We're happy to finally see the regulations on capping emissions from the oil and gas sector taking shape. It's been a long time coming. The determination of the Canadian government on this dossier is noteworthy, especially considering the strong resistance from the fossil fuel industry to any form of regulation, and the fact that the industry’s disinformation and greenwashing tactics are supported and even amplified by certain provincial governments."

-Andréanne Brazeau, Équiterre’s Climate Policy Analyst

Major adjustments must be made

For Équiterre, a lot of work remains to be done, nonetheless, to ensure that the draft regulations - which were promised at COP26 in 2021 - are in line with the climate emergency.

"In its current form, the framework lacks ambition and rigour. Not only are there too many loopholes, including offsets, but it will only come into effect in 2026, which is far too late if the oil and gas sector is to really do its part in meeting our 2030 and 2050 climate goals. The regulations must be aligned with what the science is telling us," she adds.

Predictable and unfair criticism

There will of course be the usual criticism from the fossil fuel industry, which is making record profits and investing almost nothing in renewable energy, as well as the traditional court challenge from some provincial governments who are lining up behind the industry.

"Oil companies are always ready to dip into the candy jar and take taxpayers' money to protect their shareholders' profits, while pushing unproven, ultra-expensive technologies like carbon capture and storage in the name of ‘decarbonization’, but when it’s time to live up to their responsibility, they hide under the skirts of a few politicians who are inclined to put the interests of industry ahead of those of the public," says Marc-André Viau, Équiterre’s Director of Government Relations.

With COP28 in full swing, a record number of oil and gas lobbyists are in Dubai. As a reminder, an overwhelming majority of Quebecers (87%) support the idea of regulating emissions from the Canadian fossil fuel industry, as do some 60% of Albertans.

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 »

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