Oil and gas emissions cap a relief but big polluters shouldn’t get a break

Thursday, December 07, 2023

Wilderness Committee

Pollution during sunset

Canada’s oil and gas sector must tackle climate change

VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh AND səlilwətaɬ TERRITORIES — Canada’s new oil and gas emissions cap comes as a relief that the fossil fuel industry cannot continue its unchecked growth in pollution, but it’s disappointing a few highly profitable companies are being asked to do less than the rest of Canadians.

“This cap on oil and gas emissions is a significant victory for communities across Canada who have pushed back against the tar sands, fracking, pipelines and offshore drilling,” said Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “Thousands of people have worked tirelessly for decades to reign in rising pollution from the oil and gas industry — today the federal government followed suit.”

At the same time, the emissions cap contains a weaker target than expected, and the fossil fuel industry is being asked to do less than the rest of everyday people. While the federal government had originally proposed a 42 per cent reduction for oil and gas sector emissions by 2030, today’s announcement only requires a 35 per cent cut.

“Canada’s most polluting companies should be asked to do at least as much as the rest of us in the fight against climate change,” said McCartney. “While Canadians are taking action — taking transit, composting, renovating their homes and retooling their businesses — the fossil fuel industry has successfully lobbied for special permission to do less than everyone else.”

Companies that exceed the cap on pollution could simply buy carbon offsets or donate to a proposed decarbonization fund. A cap-and-trade system with these exceptions won’t be as effective as rejecting new fossil fuel infrastructure and limiting oil and gas exports.

“This is certainly not the way I would’ve gone about slashing pollution from the oil and gas industry, but what matters is that we get the policy in place to do so now,” said McCartney. “We’re calling on the government to implement this cap as soon as possible without any loopholes for continued emissions.”


For more information, please contact:

Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner
778-239-1935, peter@wildernesscommittee.org