Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – A new report released today from Canada’s Auditor General is a scathing criticism of a new program set up by Natural Resources Canada in 2020, the emissions reduction fund. While this program is ostensibly aimed at reducing methane emissions, it has actually led to increased production of oil and gas. In fact, it’s not clear that the $130 million spent led to any additional greenhouse gas reductions – it could have actually led to more emissions. So it’s not surprising that the Auditor General’s criticism included calling out the greenhouse gas reductions promised by Natural Resources Canada as unreliable and an overestimation.
At COP26, we repeatedly heard federal ministers promise that subsidies that boost production would be eliminated – and this program does exactly that. The premise was flawed from the start: keeping harmful pollution out of the environment should be considered a normal cost of business and not an “extra” that requires government subsidies. In fact, we have methane regulations in place that do just that. The program should be cancelled immediately.
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