Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – The new climate targets released today by Canada’s export bank, Export Development Canada, are a disappointment. For years, the crown corporation has been fueling climate disaster by providing billions each year to oil and gas companies. The only responsible thing to do is to end public financing to the fossil fuel sector – but even as people are fleeing their homes and dying from climate disasters, Export Development Canada has put forth weak promises that fail to really decrease fossil fuel financing. This plan also, unfortunately, buys into the debunked myth that fossil gas is a “transition” fuel, instead of directing investment to genuine climate solutions.

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Barbara Hayes, Environmental Defence,

About Export Development Canada’s new targets:

  • Export Development Canada has set new 2030 climate targets for two sectors: airlines and upstream oil and gas. In addition, the crown corporation has set a number of sustainable finance targets related to cleantech.
  • For the upstream oil and gas sector, Export Development Canada has committed to:
    • Achieve a 15% reduction in its financing portfolio related to upstream oil and gas production by 2030. However, instead of decreasing fossil financing, this target shifts loans towards oil and gas companies that are transitioning away from oil and gas production, and away from those increasing or maintaining current production levels.
    • Achieve a 3% shift in the composition of that production from oil to gas against a 2020 baseline.
  • Export Development Canada acknowledges that “global net zero emissions will require an orderly transition away from fossil fuels” and claims to be committed to setting targets that “align with limiting warming to 1.5°C or lower”.

Alignment with the Government of Canada’s commitments :

  • The Government of Canada has committed to ending new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022, including through Export Development Canada. Export Development Canada claims to have already significantly reduced this support. However, of the $743 million already provided to oil and gas companies this year by Export Development Canada, up to $230 million is for companies operating internationally.
  • Today’s release mentions that the Government of Canada is developing a policy direction that will define the scope of this commitment, with which Export Development Canada will align fully.
  • The Government of Canada has also committed to develop a plan to phase out public financing to fossil fuels, including from crown corporations, in alignment with Canada’s net-zero target. There is no mention of this policy by Export Development Canada.

Background information: