Canada blocked climate change audit: official

Canada officially recognizes that oil and gas sector subsidies can "encourage wasteful consumption, undermine efforts to ad
Canada officially recognizes that oil and gas sector subsidies can "encourage wasteful consumption, undermine efforts to address climate change, and discourage investment in clean energy sources," according to the report

Canada's auditor general blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government Tuesday for effectively blocking an audit of efforts to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies in the fight against climate change.

Canada committed at a G20 summit in 2009 "to phase out and rationalize over the medium term inefficient fossil subsidies," setting a target date of 2025 last year with continental free trade partners Mexico and the United States, Auditor General Michael Ferguson noted in his report.

But Ferguson said the finance ministry, which was tasked with identifying subsidies, refused to hand over key documents for analysis, citing cabinet confidentiality.

Ferguson said he therefore was unable to determine whether the Trudeau administration was acting on its commitments, despite having championed the fight against climate change on the global stage.

"We found that Finance Canada still had not defined what an inefficient fossil fuel subsidy was, nor could the department tell us how many inefficient fossil fuel subsidies there could be," Ferguson said in prepared remarks.

"We asked Finance Canada to provide us with its analyses of the social, economic and environmental aspects of these subsidies. The department did not give us that information."

Ferguson also protested the lack of transparency in a message to parliament.

Fossil fuels are the main source of .

Since 2009, Ottawa has eliminated or scaled back six federal fossil fuel subsidies, but activists estimate the federal government still provides Can$1 billion in subsidies to the oil and gas sector annually.

Environmental Defense, an activist group, called the secrecy "extremely concerning," adding that the report explains "why the Canadian government has made little progress on eliminating fossil fuel subsidies."

Such subsidies can take the form of government grants or loans, tax measures, research and development funding, energy resources sold by governments at below-market rates or government intervention in markets to lower prices.

Canada officially recognizes that oil and gas sector subsidies can "encourage wasteful consumption, undermine efforts to address , and discourage investment in clean energy sources," according to the report.

Its environment ministry has devised a preliminary plan for identifying non-tax subsidies, but it has yet to implement it.

"These findings matter because without a clear understanding of the fossil fuel subsidies covered by the G20 commitment and without an implementation plan with timelines, the departments cannot ensure that they are providing the support needed for Canada to meet the commitment by 2025," the report concluded.

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© 2017 AFP

Citation: Canada blocked climate change audit: official (2017, May 16) retrieved 21 August 2019 from
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May 16, 2017
Perhaps they are lagging due to the fact that the entire country requires heating in the winter and 95% of the population requires cooling in the summer

Be that as it may, there's still no point in the subsidies as they're ultimately paid by the same people who use the fuels anyhow, and more to the point: the people who try to use less fuel to save money are forced to pay through taxes.

The subsidies, any subsidies be it for fossil fuel or renewables, serve only to make the apparent price lower, so people would buy more of it, which is a market failure because it represents a breakdown in consumer information and makes the market less rational, and the use of resources in general less efficient.

So, the subsidies exist simply to serve a small special interest of the industry at the expense of others.

May 16, 2017
Eikka debunked your troll thinking on the simple economics of petrofuel subsidies.

As for "Pansy PM", he would easily kick your ass, and seems completely heterosexual. Your comment though is easily explained by your homophobia stemming from your being a closet homosexual.

Just have gay sex already, and keep it all to yourself. Your blathering hangups are annoying in public.


May 17, 2017
Without an audit it's impossible to know if, in fact, there any fossil fuel subsidies. If the situation in Canada is anything like the U.S., subsidies for green energy are several times greater than for fossil fuels. How about get rid of all direct subsidies for energy and let the market decide which technologies are the most efficient and practical?

May 17, 2017
It is completely well established that the US Federal government heavily subsidizes petrofuels. Over $4 BILLION annual in just cash handouts. Agencies like USGS and many others doing taxpaid research and operations whose results directly benefit the petrofuel corps, from surveys to chemistry. Free insurance for the otherwise uninsurable nuke industry. Global naval security for shipping oil, gas and fissionables.

The amount of subsidy for sustainable energy is tiny in comparison. Especially considering petrofuels have had over a century of these subsidies, while renewables have been subsidized for a few decades or less.

You are just lying to defend your ideology. Which also includes the fiction of a "free market". Energy systems are absolutely essential to national security. The catastrophic "free market" cannot protect it. Energy has always been subsidized, for good reason, though petrofuel industries can afford to lose it.


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