Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 16 October 2023:
Some of Canada’s biggest blockers of climate action are set to appear before a Parliamentary committee today, underscoring the need for federal action to hold fossil fuel companies accountable and to support a just transition to safer, more affordable, sources of renewable energy.
Suncor CEO Rich Kruger will face questions from the Standing Committee on Natural Resources on his declaration that Suncor should refocus on increasing profits and oilsands extraction rather than cutting emissions. Kruger’s testimony will be at 11 am ET in Ottawa, and can be viewed here. Suncor reported profits over $9 billion in 2022, yet is cutting 20% of its workforce, or 1,500 jobs, this year alone (for more context, see this backgrounder by Environmental Defence).
Mark Cameron, Vice-President of External Relations at the Pathways Alliance – an industry association currently under investigation by Canada’s Competition Bureau for false claims about being a part of climate solutions – will also appear before the committee today.
“From Suncor doubling down on maximizing their profits no matter the cost, to the Pathways Alliance misleading Canadians, to Imperial Oil letting toxic tailings leak into Indigenous communities’ waters for years, it’s plain that oil and gas companies cannot be trusted to take responsibility and clean up their act,” said Alex Cool-Fergus, National Policy Manager at Climate Action Network Canada. “Industry clearly won’t regulate itself: we need an ambitious cap on oil and gas emissions with no more delays. It’s time for politicians to decide whose side they’re on: big polluters, or everyday Canadians who continue to be affected by wildfires, floods, high winds and other climate impacts.”
Ali Wines, Executive Director, Protect Our Winters:
“The science is clear – oil and gas emissions are rapidly destroying the things we’re most proud of as Canadians, from the glaciers that 22 million international visitors come to see each year, to the forests where we hike, bike, hunt and fish. While fossil fuel industries rake in billions, we’re losing our natural heritage and ordinary Canadians are subject to polluted air, rising insurance costs and health risks. Oil and gas companies won’t regulate themselves – why would they, when they’re making mind-boggling profits? We need our government to stand up for Canadians and the spaces that shape who we are as a nation, by placing a robust cap on pollution from dirty oil and gas projects.”
Keith Stewart, Senior energy strategist, Greenpeace Canada:
“Rich Kruger’s Suncor has stopped warning its own shareholders about how its oil sands assets will be largely worthless in a low carbon future, even as it sells off its wind and solar assets to buy more bitumen. People and planet are already paying dearly for that short-sighted greed in the form of unprecedented wildfires and extreme weather, which is why we need the federal government to move quickly to cap and reduce carbon pollution from the oil and gas sector.”
André-Yanne Parent, Executive director, The Climate Reality Project Canada:
“Big oil companies have been holding us collectively hostage from climate ambition for decades, simultaneously opposing Indigenous communities from upholding their rights. Committed to their all-important profits, they are doubling down on their destructive tactics while everywhere, people are suffering from more extreme heat, storms, floods, and wildfires. The time is now to put a firm cap on oil and gas emissions and free our democratic institutions from the hammerlock held on them by the fossil fuels lobby.”
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 150 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Vicky Coo, Communications Manager
Photo credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP / GETTY IMAGES