New data on Pathways profits & climate track record 

Dubai, UAE – At COP28 members of civil society walked out of a Pathways Alliance event, in protest of the presence of these Big Polluters at COP28. The event was hosted at the Clean Resource Innovation Network pavilion. The event was initially scheduled as a panel discussion between the President of the Pathways Alliance, Kendal Dilling, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and others. However, at the last minute the organizers tried to back down and switch to an informal networking event. Members of civil society present in the room in overwhelming numbers pushed back. After a short question and answer in which Dilling did not adequately address the concerns and questions being raised, civil society walked out in protest.  

Alongside today’s activities, Environmental Defence Canada is also releasing new research on the Pathways Alliance, a coalition of the six largest tar sands companies in Canada. The key findings are:

  • The investments of the Pathways Alliance members remain overwhelmingly concentrated on oil and gas and are not aligned with Paris Agreement goals. Over the last four years (2019-2022), they collectively invested at least CAD $47.3 billion (USD $34 billion) in their fossil fuel operations.
  • Five of these companies recorded pre-tax profits of over CAD $45 billion (USD $33 billion) in 2022, more than double their profits in 2021 and four times their profits in 2019 (pre-pandemic). A 10 per cent windfall tax could have generated CAD $4.5 billion in the last year from these five companies alone. 
  • The Pathways Alliance claims that member companies have spent CAD $1.8 billion on phase one projects related to its proposed carbon capture network. This spending amounts to less than 4 per cent of the combined profits of five of six Pathways Alliance members. 

Link to folder with photographs and videos, found here.

Leading civil society and Indigenous organizations from Canada and around the world, some of which were involved in today’s actions, respond to the presence of the Pathways Alliance and other fossil fuel lobbyists at COP28:

Julia Levin, Associate Director, National Climate, Environmental Defence Canada

“It is obvious that the Pathways Alliance and the Government of Alberta are not at COP28 in good faith. Today, they tried to run away from civil society, rather than be held accountable for the ways in which they are continuing to prioritize profits over achieving climate outcomes. It is obvious that fossil fuel lobbyists realize that the writing is on the wall, and they are trying everything in their power to delay the inevitable outcome: a phase out of fossil fuel production.” 

Emily Lowan, Fossil Fuel Supply Campaigns Lead, Climate Action Network Canada

“The Pathways Alliance is here in a desperate attempt to distract from the issue at the heart of these talks — a fair phase-out of fossil fuels. The Pathways companies would rather hide behind greenwashed PR buys than use their record profits to invest in the real solutions, like a just transition for workers and scaling up of renewables. It’s a bait-and-switch and the international community isn’t buying it.”

Carole Monture, Indigenous Climate Action

“We cannot allow the business interests of polluters to shape false narratives at COP28 or at home. Carbon market mechanisms, like those being pushed by industry and government, depend on growing emissions from fossil fuel use. If there is no fossil fuel pollution there is no need for carbon market mechanisms. We cannot allow carbon markets and false solutions to continue to dominate the conversation and to delay real action. Real solutions rooted in Indigenous knowledge, justice, and self-determination.”

Joe Viipond, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

“It’s painful to be at a climate conference, at a time when the urgency for rapid decarbonization is more evident than ever, and have the Canadian oil and gas industry being so overt in their greenwashing efforts. Framing climate action in Western Canada as essentially only CCS, with no discussion of the immense emissions from combustion, and the experimental and costly (financially and energy)nature of the  technology, is dishonest. We need to acknowledge that the only path to saving our climate from irreversible damage is a phase out of all fossil fuels, as quickly as possible.”

Nils Bartsch, Head of Oil & Gas Research, Urgewald

”Oil from Alberta’s tar sands is among the dirtiest fossil fuels on Earth. The extraction process involves destroying ancient boreal forests, blasting away topsoil, drilling deep into the ground and injecting steam to force the oil out – with devastating consequences for the local habitat. Instead of hiding behind false solutions like carbon capture and storage, companies in the Pathways Alliance and the Canadian government need to immediately stop tar sands extraction because the harms it does to indigenous communities, to nature, and to the climate are simply too grave to bear.“

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Alex Ross, Environmental Defence,