Canada to stop funding overseas fossil fuel projects

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The federal government announced Thursday morning that it would cut subsidies that help oil and gas companies operate and grow outside the country by the end of next year.

The United States, New Zealand and Costa Rica are also among the 24 signatory countries of the international declaration.

Countries pledge to allocate funds to the development of clean energy.

If each of the countries implements the change, the policy could transfer about US $ 15 billion (C $ 18.6 billion) per year from public money from fossil fuels to clean energy, officials said.

“We are in a climate crisis. We urgently need to reduce emissions in all sectors of the economy, all over the world. This applies, of course, to the energy sector as it does to all sectors of the economy. economy, ”Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said. said during the announcement.

“Canada’s signature is important. We are one of the largest energy producers in the world.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has said Canada will end financial support for oil and gas companies internationally by the end of 2022. (Kyle Bakx / CBC)

In an interview on Wednesday night, Wilkinson said the government has taken a stand to end subsidies for the oil field and that this is a first step in that process.

“During the election campaign, the Liberal Party made a commitment not to set a specific date, but to eliminate this also at the national level. This is something we will be working on,” he said.

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Japan, Korea and China, which environmental groups say are among the largest providers of international public funding for fossil fuels, were not in Thursday’s pledge.

End of support for coal-fired power plants abroad

Last week, Canada and the other G20 countries made a similar announcement to end financial support for coal-fired power plants abroad.

“From our perspective and our partners from many civil society organizations, this is rather a historic day,” said Richard Florizone, President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, during the announcement. from Thursday.

“After a wave of commitments on coal, notably from China and other countries in recent months, this declaration and action now shows that not only urgent action is needed to ensure that we can end public funding of fossil fuels, but that we can actually do it. “

The international financing announcement will impact Export Development Canada (EDC), a Crown corporation providing a variety of financial supports to help businesses operate internationally.

“Our support for the oil and gas sector as a whole has declined by 35% over the past three years, from $ 12.5 billion of business facilitated in 2018 to $ 8.1 billion of business facilitated in 2020, ”EDC President Mairead Lavery said in an emailed statement.

“Our business volume in the oil and gas sector continues to decline this year, with $ 2.7 billion provided to the oil and gas sector as of June 30, 2021.”

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