A Solid First Step to End Fossil Fuel Financing
Canada keeps its promise to end taxpayer subsidies for international fossil fuel projects by December 31. The next steps matter, too. But this is still a win.
Canada took a solid first step this week to cut off the flow of taxpayers’ dollars for fossil fuel development. The devil is in the details—because isn’t it always? But the milestone still matters.
The phaseout decision was announced Thursday by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. It makes Canada the eighth country to keep a promise that dates back to last year’s United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, said Oil Change International.
As recently as last month, it wasn’t clear whether Canada would meet the December 31 deadline to make good on its Glasgow commitment. Just ahead of the announcement, iPolitics reported on fears that Ottawa’s definition of “international” might rule out funding for foreign oil and gas projects undertaken by international companies, but keep a loophole open for Canadian-based fossils operating overseas.
But later that day, a coordinated release from Oil Change, Environmental Defence Canada, and a half-dozen other groups praised Canada for joining “a group of first movers” on a pledge by 39 countries and jurisdictions to hit the end-of-year phaseout deadline and “fully prioritize their public finance for the clean energy transition.”
Now, we get to see how a big-picture promise at a UN climate conference and a policy pronouncement from a federal department play out in everyday practice.