Glasgow, Tuesday November 9th – At a press conference at COP26 today, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) delivered a ludicrous message that belies science or logic – that climate action requires more Canadian oil and gas, even though Canadian oil is the second most carbon-intensive in the world. CAPP’s message flies against the International Energy Agency’s research, which found that limiting warming to 1.5°C requires significant cuts to all fossil fuel production, including both oil and gas. It also fails to address the fact that fossil fuel infrastructure projects have inflicted serious harm to local communities and violated the rights of Indigenous Peoples, who are on the front lines of the climate crisis.
So far at COP, the oil and gas lobby has successfully kept fossil fuel phaseout at the periphery of the UN negotiations, even though many announcements and events have focused on fossil fuels as the root of the problem. We urge Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault and the Canadian government to support a focus on phasing out fossil fuels, and pushing for a fair transition for workers and communities to be included in the COP26 text.
The Big Oil lobby from Canada and around the world is here in force at COP26, and is spinning the nonsensical notion that increased oil and gas production is the solution to climate change. This imposing presence stands in stark contrast to the limited access of Global South countries to this conference of the United Nations. As documented by Global Witness, if the oil and gas lobby were a country, it would have the biggest delegation at this COP.
It is important to note that rather than opening a social dialogue with members of civil society, most importantly labour unions, to find a common path forward on a just transition for workers and communities, CAPP completely ignores the real issues around climate change, present and future. A recent petition by Canada’s Energy Citizens, a group organized and funded by CAPP, countering just transition did not mention workers once, making it clear that CAPP’s priority is oil and gas executives, not workers or communities who urgently need a pathway towards new jobs as the world shifts away from high-carbon fuels.
In 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic, CAPP sent a secret memo asking the Canadian government to suspend the implementation of Indigenous rights, weaken environmental laws, eliminate the requirement for environmental monitoring, and suspend the lobby registry.
“The science is crystal clear: ensuring a livable planet means phasing out fossil fuels. Tomorrow, Costa Rica and Denmark will set a new standard for climate leadership by launching an alliance that puts an end date on fossil production. Yet Canadian fossil lobbyists are once again trying to push out grotesque spin, positioning oil and gas as a solution to climate change. After a summer of devastating impacts across the world including in Canada, where a whole community burned down into flames, this needs to be called out for what it is: dangerous, irresponsible and clearly against the public interest,” says Caroline Brouillette, National Policy Manager at Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada.
“The Canadian oil lobby has been the biggest barrier to climate action in Canada, by successfully delaying, weakening, or killing climate policies in Canada. And now CAPP absurdly argues that oil and gas production is the solution to climate change. Recent analysis shows that climate plans from major oil and gas companies in Canada are so weak and vague that these companies should not be considered trustworthy partners in the fight against climate change,” says Dale Marshall, National Climate Program Manager at Environmental Defence Canada.
“While a large proportion of countries, organizations and individuals are fighting to make a difference and keep the planet safe and habitable, the Canadian fossil fuel industry is fighting to maintain the status quo or to negotiate technological loopholes to continue producing oil and gas. It must not and never again dictate the agenda of climate negotiations,” adds Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Climate Policy Analyst at Équiterre.
“The presence of the oil lobby at this COP is unbelievably arrogant. It is insulting to see them trying to sell their oil as a solution to the climate crisis. Not only is it shameful, this presence is in complete opposition to the very objective of this COP, which is to prevent temperatures from rising by 1.5 degrees. At the FTQ, we would rather see them at the discussion table with workers to determine an exit plan for this industry and ensure a transition that is just for those who work in it,” says Denis Bolduc, Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ).
For more information:
Vicky Coo, Communications Lead, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada
+44 7375 375915; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale Marshall, National Climate Program Manager, Environmental Defence Canada
Anthony Côté Leduc, Media Relations, Équiterre
+1 514 926-7850 ; email@example.com
Rima Chaaban, Communications, Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ)
+1 514 806-9162 ; firstname.lastname@example.org