Emissions from sector continue to grow

OTTAWA | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE – Today’s oil and gas industry–sponsored report that claims the forthcoming federal emissions cap will cause job loss and slow GDP uses deeply flawed methodology. It ignores the many benefits of regulating and reducing emissions and the fact that surging renewables are eroding global demand for oil and gas.

The most recent national greenhouse gas inventory shows oil and gas pollution has increased and remains Canada’s largest source of emissions. There are currently no limits on how much the oil and gas sector can pollute.

New research published in the journal Nature concludes that the cost of environmental damage will be six times higher than the cost of limiting global heating to 2 C.

Thomas Green, David Suzuki Foundation Senior Climate Policy Adviser, commented:

“The oil and gas industry has failed to lower its own rising emissions. Worse, it wants to impede regulations — such as an emissions cap — that hold the industry to account for its pollution. An emissions cap promises to be one of the most effective responses to the climate crisis.

“There is global consensus from organizations such as the International Energy Agency that the world needs to get off oil and gas to reduce the risk of mounting climate damages. In Canada, the high risk of serious and irreversible harm from burning oil and gas in the immediate future — including biodiversity loss and more extreme climate disasters such as we’re seeing currently with hurricanes and severe wildfire seasons — justify an ambitious emissions cap.

“By fighting against a strong emissions cap and ignoring how methane regulations will achieve 75 per cent of the emissions cap reductions at extremely low cost, the oil and gas industry is demonstrating that its claims to be acting on a net-zero emissions path are disingenuous greenwashing aimed at maintaining excessive corporate profits.

“Legally, there’s mounting pressure on the oil and gas industry to reduce emissions. A new international judicial decision just highlighted that a country that fails to regulate private sector emissions may be held accountable for the resulting pollution.

“Economically speaking, the global demand for high carbon oil like that in the oilsands will decrease as the world decarbonizes. An effective emissions cap helps maintain market access as buyers look for less carbon intensive energy. It also incentivizes industry to create jobs by investing in technologies to clean up their pollution, rather than giving back excess profits to shareholders. A new poll by Iron and Earth shows that 60 per cent of workers in oil and gas fear being left behind amid a transition to greener sources of energy.”

The Foundation is calling for a strong emissions cap for the oil and gas sector without further delay.

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For more information or a media interview, please contact:

Theresa Beer, tbeer@davidsuzuki.org, 778-874-3396