FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2016
Alex Doukas, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 202-817-0357
David Turnbull, email@example.com, +1-202-316-3499
Jolan Bailey, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-604-441-6916
Thousands urge Trudeau government to Stop Funding Fossils in 2016 Budget
A day before the 2016 budget is to be released, over 4600 Canadians submitted comments to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, calling on him to remove the USD $1.6 billion (CAD $1.8 billion) in subsidies Canada’s federal government provides to the fossil fuel industry every year.
The petition, a joint effort by Oil Change International and Leadnow.ca, garnered nearly 5,000 signatures in just five days. It calls on Minister Morneau, as representative of Prime Minister Trudeau’s government, to “Keep your promise and signal an end to billions of dollars in polluting oil, gas and coal subsidies in your upcoming budget.” It cites a 2009 commitment by Canada and all G20 countries to end fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term.
“This government ran on a platform of bold climate action and moving us toward a new, cleaner, more stable economy. Handing out billions of dollars to the fossil fuel industry so it can dig up more fossil fuels that we can’t afford to burn takes us in the wrong direction. We’re hopeful that the Minister Morneau and the Trudeau government will live up to their promises, listen to the many Canadians demanding action, and stop funding fossils,” said Alex Doukas, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International.
A 2015 report released by Oil Change International and the UK-based Overseas Development Institute, with contributions by the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Global Subsidies Initiative, found that Canada provides USD $1.6 billion (CAD $1.8 billion) in federal subsidies every year to fossil fuel producers. On top of this, Export Development Canada – wholly owned by the government – provides as much as CAD $6 billion per year for dirty energy producers to continue fueling the climate crisis at home and abroad. In addition, just weeks ago, Export Development Canada offered a CAD $750 million bailout to fossil fuel companies.
“Bailing out oil producers is not the solution. We’ve seen what happens when we hitch our economy to volatile world energy markets,” said Jolan Bailey, National Organizer at Leadnow. “The Liberals promised to start the transition to a clean energy economy, and the first step is ending handouts to big oil.”
The petition is being delivered on Monday to Minister Morneau, as well as the offices of the Prime Minister, the Environment Minister, the Trade Minister and the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Notes to editors:
- The petition can be found at http://you.leadnow.ca/petitions/end-fossil-fuel-handouts-in-the-2016-budget
The fossil fuel subsidies report released in late 2015 can be found at http://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9988.pdf
A blog post published last week with additional background can be found at http://priceofoil.org/2016/03/18/ending-canadas-billions-in-subsidies/