Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 21 November 2023:
As Canadians face the escalating pressures of the climate and affordability crises, Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac) calls on the federal government to show leadership and invest in all-in solutions that respond to people’s needs and prioritize low-income households while reducing emissions.
“After a summer of record wildfires across the country that displaced hundreds of thousands of Canadians, it is puzzling that Minister Freeland’s speech today delivering the Fall Economic Statement made not even a single mention of climate action,” said Caroline Brouillette, Executive Director of CAN-Rac.
“The solutions are at our fingertips to cut households’ energy costs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels: heat pumps, retrofits, convenient public and active transportation options. We need an ambitious spending approach that puts people first, addresses the housing crisis, takes advantage of the opportunities of transitioning to a clean economy, and makes sure big polluters do and pay their fair share.”
The commitment to amend the Competition Act to prohibit greenwashing is promising, and much-needed amid massive misleading advertising campaigns from big polluters.
However, it’s concerning to see that Minister Freeland’s strategy to build a clean economy locks in subsidies and tax breaks to the fossil fuel sector and emphasizes Investment Tax Credits that will direct public funds towards unproven and expensive solutions like Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage. The most effective way to reduce emissions from the oil and gas industry – Canada’s most-polluting industry – is by moving ahead with a strong emissions cap, with a clear target and no further delays.
CAN-Rac also highlights that the inclusion of independent climate experts is crucial for a rigorous and credible green taxonomy that includes no fossil fuels – a key measure for avoiding stranded assets and aligning Canada’s financial sector with a zero-emissions global economy.
“As COP28 opens next week, the world will be looking to see if Canada is truly phasing out financial flows to the polluting industries profiting off of people’s struggles and phasing in the investments we need for a liveable climate and a fairer, more resilient society,” added Brouillette.
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