Federal budget delivers climate funding but subsidies work against progress
VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mes and Sel̓íl̓witulh TERRITORIES — Wilderness Committee welcomes $17.6 billion of green commitments in federal budget 2021 but urges the government to stop working against its own efforts with fossil fuel subsidies.
Last week, a report from Environmental Defence showed the federal government gave $18 billion in subsidies to oil and gas companies in 2020, including billions in spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion through British Columbia.
“It’s not that $17.6 billion for green action isn’t welcome, but it’s still less than the federal government spent on subsidies to Canada’s top polluters last year,” said Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “If they want to get serious it’s time to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline, end fossil fuel subsidies and invest in a just transition for workers.”
Altogether, the federal government says this budget will reduce Canada’s carbon pollution by 36 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. That’s higher than the current target but still shockingly weak in a global context. Environmentalists are asking for a far stronger commitment of 60 per cent reductions later this week at U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate summit.
“Canada’s emissions are still going up. We are the only G7 country that has not reduced emissions,” said McCartney. “For this country to do its fair share, we're going to have to double our efforts over just the next ten years — this budget does not even come close.”
Where the federal budget delivers is on parks funding and a commitment to Indigenous protected areas. It outlines $2.3 billion over five years to protect over a million square kilometres of lands and waters in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
“Finally, the federal government is stepping up to protect nature in a big way,” said McCartney. “Joining Indigenous communities to protect their territories from industrial development is critical to saving biodiversity from coast to coast to coast.
For more information, please contact:
Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner