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2011 Federal Budget Watch

March, 2011

Our Budget 2011 Reaction Here

In the 2011 federal budget on March 22nd, Climate Action Network Canada will be watching closely for:

An end to tax breaks to big oil
Renewal of successful clean energy and efficiency programs
Ongoing support for Environment Canada's operating budget
Our fair share of international climate change finance


Fossil fuel subsidies:

- The Government of Canada gives the oil and gas sector at least $1.4 billion per year in subsidies, $840 million of which are in the form of special tax breaks;

- In the age of climate change, handouts to big oil are unnecessary and reckless. They also undermine efforts by provinces and individuals to reduce emissions and avoid the worst impacts of climate change;

- Objective analysis has identified over $800 million in subsidies that could be phased out beginning in the 2011 federal budget;

- Canadians, Members of Parliament, senior officials at the Department of Finance and Environment Canada, and G20 leaders, have all called for these subsidies to be phased out;

- We have better things to do with our money than provide hand-outs to one of the most profitable industries in the world;

- By continuing these subsidies the government is facilitating the rapid expansion of highly polluting projects such as the Alberta tar sands.

Resources:

Our Factsheet

Our 'End fossil fuel tax breaks' webpage

 

Clean energy

- Many popular and effective energy efficiency programs, including the ecoEnergy suite of programs, are slated to expire this year. As of yet, there is no indication that they will be renewed, despite internal government evaluations that show they have successfully created jobs and reduced Canada’s greenhouse gas pollution;

- Canada continues to fall further behind in the race to the clean energy future, failing to come close to the levels of investments other industrialized and industrializing countries are making in renewable energy and energy efficiency;

- Studies show that if Canada had chosen to spend the infrastructure portion of its economic stimulus package to ramp up energy efficiency and clean energy, three times as many jobs would have been created;

- This government’s disregard for the clean energy revolution is threatening our jobs, our economy, and our climate.

Resources:

Green Budget Coalition 2011 budget recommendations (pages 6-9)

Pembina Institute report: Reducing Pollution, Creating Jobs

Media: Internal report says climate policies on chopping block create jobs

 

Cuts to Environment Canada

- The Minister of the Environment is meant to play a stewardship role over the Canadian environment, and instead his departmental budget is being threatened to be cut by 20% while big oil may continue to get tax breaks that are larger than the department’s entire annual operating budget;

- If Environment Canada’s funding for regulating pollution and climate change regulations runs out, we risk seeing serious delays in imposing limits on industrial greenhouse gas emissions;

- If they are not reversed in the budget, these cuts risk allowing Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution, the Alberta tar sands, to continue to grow unfettered without adequate federal regulation.

Resources:

Media: Federal government to cut environmental spending

 

Climate Finance:

-  Canada has committed to doing its ‘fair share’ in helping poorer countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and move towards cleaner energy futures;

- In order to keep their Copenhagen commitment Canada must contribute $400 million in new and additional money per year in 2011 and 2012;

- This money should go principally towards the most vulnerable countries primarily in the form of grants, not loans, and should be administered and monitored in a transparent way;

-  Half of the $400 million of Canada’s fair share should be designated for adaptation financing, in order to meet the Cancun Agreement's requirement of "balanced" financing. Last year, just 11% of Canada's financing was dedicated to adaptation;

-  This money must be ‘new and additional’, not siphoning money away from other critical things such as poverty alleviation and foreign aid;

-  The government needs to begin to look at innovative ways to generate this financing over the medium and long term.

Resources:

Green Budget Coalition 2011 budget recommendations (page 37-39)