Today is April 22, Earth Day, the same day President Biden has chosen to kick off his global climate summit with 40 world leaders invited to join.
This should be a sign of hope that finally, one of the most powerful countries in the world is ready to lead the charge on tackling humanity’s greatest threat.
Instead, it’s reminding us how, even under so-called progressive leadership, Canada has yet to tackle climate change in even the simplest of ways: to stop giving money and political power to oil and gas companies.
In 2020, the Canadian government handed out more than $18 billion to oil and gas companies. Despite long-held promises to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, Ottawa increased assistance to the industry in 2020 with public funding for pipelines and policing of Indigenous opponents.
We need to be starting a wind-down of the oil and gas sector in order to transition to a green recovery, and to make sure we have a planet we can live in.
However, these subsidies do the exact opposite. In fact, fossil fuel subsidies are the elephant in the room when it comes to attacking climate change.