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82,622 people in Canada call for the federal government to rein in Big Oil’s climate pollution

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Organizations delivered petitions to the Prime Minister’s Office today, asking that the federal government follow through on its COP26 promise to implement a strong, ambitious cap on oil and gas emissions 

OTTAWA | Unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – As world leaders gather in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt for COP27, this year’s UN climate conference, environmental organizations from across Canada are demanding that the federal government keep its promise of holding oil and gas industry accountable for its impact on the climate, and reducing industry emissions immediately.

Today, these groups are delivering petitions to the Prime Minister’s Office, with more than 80,000 signatures demanding that the government stand up to the industry by implementing an oil and gas emissions cap based on good science, ambition and urgent action. This follows a recent Abacus poll showing that 7 out 10 Canadians want the oil and gas industry to take on its fair share of the climate effort.  To view photos from the petition delivery, click here.

For Canada to meet its climate targets, it needs to address the largest and the fastest growing source of emissions in the country. The oil and gas sector accounts for 26 per cent of our domestic emissions. While other sectors have managed to reduce their emissions, oil and gas emissions have increased by 89 per cent since 1990. 

It has been a year since COP26 where Prime Minister Trudeau committed to cap oil and gas emissions at a “pace and scale needed to get to net-zero by 2050”. In the last several weeks, the United Nations and International Energy Agency have released reports showing that the world has made no progress on reducing emissions since the Paris Agreement was signed. Canada is no exception, and is in fact predicting a 21 per cent increase in oil and gas emissions. The federal government has still not released any details about how they plan on accomplishing their COP26 commitments. The lack of urgency in launching this policy is not in line with the intensity of the climate crises we face. 

While the commitment was made to reduce oil and gas emissions, the sector is still increasing its emissions without check. Canadians are looking to the federal government to follow through with their promises and hold the industry accountable. 

QUOTES:  

“The message from Canadians is clear:  the oil and gas industry needs to be held accountable for their pollution. Without an ambitious emissions cap on the sector, Canada will not be able to meet its climate commitments, and the public will have to pick up the slack. While world leaders are gathering for COP27, we are looking for the federal government to announce  the pathway it will implement to limit and  reduce oil and gas pollution” – Aly Hyder Ali, Oil and Gas program manager, Environmental Defence Canada

“Oil and gas extraction is Canada’s largest and fastest growing source of climate pollution. While many other Canadian businesses have taken action to reduce their climate impacts, all of that progress has been wiped out by expanding oil and gas extraction. A strong cap on oil and gas emissions can break that cycle and ensure that big oil companies finally do their fair share to address the climate crisis.” – Sven Biggs, Canadian OIl and Gas Program Director, Stand.earth   

“It’s absurd. The oil and gas industry makes up just 5% of the Canadian economy, yet it produces over 26% of our country’s emissions. Now, they are looking to offload their responsibility for cutting emissions and cleaning up the mess of climate disasters they’ve created. It’s a slap in the face for everyday people, as climate impacts in Canada become more frequent and deadly. Cutting emissions is the only way we have a shot at meeting our climate targets and securing a liveable future. It’s time for oil and gas companies to do their fair share.” – Jesse Whattam, Campaigns Manager, Leadnow 

“Unless the heavily polluting oil and gas sector’s emissions come down fast, there is no possibility that Canada will meet its climate targets. The government keeps handing big oil, already swimming in cash, more carrots, but the companies aren’t acting. A stringent emissions cap is key to getting industry to invest in actually reducing oil and gas pollution and not just greenwashing.” – Tom Green, Senior Climate Policy Adviser, David Suzuki Foundation

“Despite oil and gas industry promises, we are not seeing the sector do its share to confront the climate emergency. A majority of Canadians agree: we need a legal limit on how much Canada’s most-polluting sector can emit. A strong, ambitious oil and gas emissions cap is our best shot at ensuring the oil and gas sector does its part and contributes to Canada’s fair share of global emissions reductions.”  – Anna Johnston, Staff Lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law Association

“Every year, 75% of Canadians engage in outdoor activities, but from wildfire smoke to thin ice and avalanches, climate change is making this increasingly challenging and higher risk. To protect our world-class natural spaces, and the health of our citizens, Canada must deliver on its emissions reductions commitments. The only way to achieve this is with a robust emissions cap for the oil and gas industry, which represents just 5% of Canada’s GDP but 26% of emissions, and growing every year. We’re asking the government to ensure our highest polluting sector does its fair share. No delays, no loopholes.” – Ali Wines, Executive Director, Protect Our Winters Canada

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

Alex Ross, Environmental Defence, aross@environmentaldefence.ca

Maggie Chao, Campaigns Director, maggiec@leadnow.ca

Sven Biggs, Stand.Earth, sven@stand.earth  

Theresa Beer, David Suzuki Foundation, tbeer@davidsuzuki.org 

Alexis Stoymenoff, West Coast Environmental Law, astoymenoff@wcel.org