Canada’s Federal Government campaigning against climate policies: report

Parliament Hill, Ottawa
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Ottawa – Recent documents reveal that officials of the Government of Canada are systematically trying to kill clean energy and climate change policies in other countries in order to promote the interests of oil companies. The findings are contained in a new report, The Tar Sands’ Long Shadow, released by Climate Action Network Canada, a network of over 75 of Canada’s leading non-governmental organizations.

“We have proof that the Harper government is aggressively intervening in Europe and the United States to kill clean energy policies in the name of promoting the tar sands,” says Climate’s Action Network’s Graham Saul. “Canada is not just exporting dirty oil anymore – we’re also exporting dirty policies.”

The report documents extensive evidence of federal and Alberta government lobbying efforts against clean-energy policies proposed in three jurisdictions: California, the United States and Europe. Documents obtained through Access to Information also point to a broad-based and secretive “Oil Sands Advocacy Strategy” led by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“Canada shouldn’t throw up roadblocks in the way of countries and states that are trying to do the right thing and move towards a clean energy future,” says Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada. “Greenpeace has set up a tip line for federal civil servants who are frustrated with the oil industry calling the shots on Canada’s energy and climate policy and want to help us separate oil and state.” The tip line will be promoted throughout the coming year.

“A friendly neighbor does not secretly try to undermine your clean energy jobs and efforts to fight climate change,” says Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Washington D.C.-based Natural Resources Defense Council. “The greed for tar sands oil is not only harming the Boreal forest – it is harming the North American clean energy future.”

“We are calling on the governments of Canada and Alberta to stop all efforts to kill clean energy and climate policy in other countries,” says Steven Guilbeault of Équiterre. “This is an outrage, it is a reckless approach to energy policy that needs to be brought to an end.”

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