Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA] — The federal government must immediately close loopholes and rein in carbon emissions from oil and gas companies, say a broad cross- section of Canada’s major environmental groups.

“True leadership in 2018 means having the courage to start a real conversation about the tension between Canada’s fossil fuel production and climate commitments,” said Catherine Abreu from Climate Action Network-Réseau action climat Canada. “It is encouraging to see that, earlier this week, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna restated her commitment to reaching Canada’s 2030 emissions-reduction goal, but one very large and powerful problem stands in the way: the oil and gas lobby that her government should no longer placate.”

Official government documents submitted to the UN in December show that in one year, the projected carbon emissions gap has grown from 44 to 66 million tonnes. The main reason identified was surging production and emissions from oil and gas production. According to government projections, most sectors will reduce their carbon emissions between now and 2030 because of Canada’s climate policies, but emissions from oil and gas will continue to increase.

“The free ride given to oil and gas companies on their carbon emissions has gone on for too long,” said Dale Marshall from Environmental Defence. “That’s why the gap between Canada’s Paris targets and emissions reductions projected from the country’s climate policies is growing, not shrinking.”

The government’s recently released draft of Canada’s GHG emissions inventory shows emissions per barrel have gone up by nine per cent since 1990. This demonstrates that, contrary to its claims, the oil industry has increased the amount of emissions per barrel of production without any evidence that it can reduce carbon emissions while growing oil production.

“Like turning the Titanic, it requires time for climate policies to take effect,” said Steven Guilbeault from Équiterre. “We need to start implementing them now if we want to meet our Paris climate targets. Yet we’ve seen three-year delays for regulations to reduce oil and gas methane emissions, and oil and gas companies asked to pay only a small fraction of the carbon price. Some companies will even be paid to pollute. This must change.”

“Cutting methane emissions is one of the easiest and most affordable actions oil and gas companies can take to shrink their own climate change pollution,” said Ian Bruce from the David Suzuki Foundation. “Industry has long known about this problem and has the technology to fix it. We can’t afford to delay action any longer. The federal government must ensure that industry takes responsibility now.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Catherine Abreu, Climate Action Network Canada-Réseau action Canada: 902-412-8953

Dale Marshall, Environmental Defence: 613-868-9917

Dale Robertson, Équiterre: 514-605-2000

Brendan Glauser, David Suzuki Foundation: 604-356-8829