Environmental Defence is naming three additions to Canada’s top Climate Villains.

Introducing the new climate villains:

  • Rich Kruger, CEO of Suncor
  • Greg Ebel, CEO of Enbridge 
  • Murray Edwards, Chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL)

Each of these men lead influential fossil fuel companies that are major contributors to climate change, but that’s not all…

Rich Kruger told shareholders that the company had been too committed to reducing emissions and that under his new leadership he would prioritize profits by increasing oil and gas production and cutting costs (by laying off 1,500 workers). He plans to expand one of Suncor’s open-pit tar sands mines, Fort Hills, which will have devastating impacts on the area’s ecology

Greg Ebel registered 71 lobby meetings with the federal government in 2023. Enbridge has been caught and called out for its pattern of using misinformation. For example, they’ve been lying about the cost and climate impact of “natural” gas to try and justify expanding their pipeline network. At the same time, they’re subsidizing the expansion with funds from existing customers and driving up the cost of gas. 

Murray Edwards is a powerful oil-i-garch in the Alberta oil world. When he was at the helm,  CNRL successfully weakened Alberta’s methane regulations. That means oil and gas companies are still releasing a lot of methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas. He has also pushed the idea that producing more oil is okay if it is just a bit less polluting.  

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for additional villains using our online form. 

You can learn more about each villain, and see the rest of the top ten villains at the Climate Villains website. We will continue to release detailed profiles throughout the year on each villain’s work history and why they were chosen to be part of the top ten.

Why naming the climate villains matters

Sometimes people ask why we’re calling out individuals instead of companies, and to be honest some people tell us we’re going too far. So I’m going to let you in on our strategy, and why we think naming individuals matters. 

For decades Big Oil hid the facts about climate change, lobbied against government climate action, and spent hundreds of millions (if not billions) on advertising campaigns. Now, Big Oil is saying they care about the climate and are making misleading claims about their role in creating solutions – all the while lobbying against climate policies. They’re greenwashing oil and gas, and they largely get away with it! For example, It took years of effort by dedicated journalists, lawyers, campaigners, and activists to prove and publicize that #ExxonKnew and lied about climate change for decades. 

It’s a challenge to hold companies accountable for their contribution to climate change. Legal cases are just starting to take effect. And repercussions for corporate bigwigs who do things like greenwash are just not that strong…yet.  

When we focus on companies as a whole, what gets lost is that there are individuals at the top brass of these companies who are responsible for making decisions that have massive consequences for our climate. These are the individuals who lobby the government against ambitious climate policy, who promote fossil fuels in the media, and develop strategies to keep us dependent on their polluting product. 

We call out these individuals because they have power and should be held responsible for how they’re using it.  

All the information we use is publicly available. We think that compiling the villains’ records paints a compelling picture of why their vested interest in fossil fuels means that they should not be trusted to act in the best interest of Canadians when it comes to climate policy. 

I would love it if any one of these CEOs had a real change of heart and used their wealth and power for real climate action. We love a redemption arc! But as long as there are still people in powerful positions making decisions that fuel the climate crisis and harm future generations, I think we should know who they are – and try to stop them. 

You can help by telling the Canadian government not to listen to Climate Villains. 

Take Action: Tell Canada to Stop Big Oil and its Climate Villains from Polluting Our Climate.

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