Today, the Trudeau government presented the new federal budget. There’s a lot to unpack, but we were most struck by the announcement that fossil fuel companies investing in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), would receive over $2.6 billion over the next 5 years and $1.5 billion annually until 2030.
This subsidy of well-over $5 billion for the oil and gas sector is far larger than any investment in real solutions that tackle the climate emergency. This is irresponsible and the opposite of what we need during a climate emergency.
Let me break down why this is an extremely dangerous decision.
CCUS is technology that attempts to “capture” greenhouse gasses produced from burning fossil fuels to repurpose or store them away.
The overwhelming majority of CCUS projects fail to deliver and the technology remains obscenely expensive and an unproven climate solution. Most infuriatingly, the only functional “use” for captured CO2 is injecting it into depleted underground reservoirs to extract oil that would otherwise be impossible to recover — in effect nullifying any benefits from capturing the carbon in the first place.
In simplest terms, CCUS is a false solution that doesn’t reduce emissions and allows the fossil fuel industry to continue expanding.
Canada should follow the lead of countries around the world and begin a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.
Investing billions of federal dollars into CCUS projects led by the fossil fuel industry will only make Big Oil richer while doing nothing to address the climate emergency. These funds should go towards introducing a bold, ambitious Just Transition Act that retrains fossil fuel workers, creates millions of green jobs, and accelerates community-led climate solutions.
We deserve better. That’s why it’s up to us to make sure that we win a big, bold Just Transition Act that invests in workers, communities, and everyday people. If you haven’t yet, make your submission now to the government consultation on a Just Transition.
The world’s best scientists made it clear that we need to get off of fossil fuels to tackle the climate crisis, but the Trudeau government seems to have ignored this call.
Just last week, Trudeau and his ministers presented a climate plan that increases oil extraction. Then yesterday, they approved the massive Bay du Nord offshore project that will produce as many GHG emissions as 100 coal fired plants. Now, they’re investing billions in Big Oil led CCUS despite warnings from hundreds of scientists that it is not a real climate solution.
The federal government is moving in the wrong direction. It’s more important than ever for us to speak up in support of real solutions. Add your voice now.
Blog by Atiya Jaffar, 350 Canada Digital Campaigns Manager