Tonight, MPs from across party lines will take part in a virtual townhall on ending fossil fuel subsidies.

While the federal government has pledged to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies by 2023, Budget 2022 unveiled a hefty investment tax credit for carbon capture, utilization and storage, which more than 400 experts previously warned is just another fossil fuel subsidy.

Each main federal party except the Conservatives plan to attend. NDP environment critic Laurel Collins, Green Party MP Mike Morrice, Bloc Québécois environment critic Monique Pauzé and Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith are slated to participate.

The webinar begins tonight at 7 p.m. EST and will be moderated by Climate Action Network Canada, a coalition of more than 100 organizations across the country dedicated to preventing dangerous levels of climate change.

Those who register for the Zoom webinar can ask MPs questions about the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.

Simply ending fossil fuel subsidies could reduce emissions by one to 10 per cent by 2030, according to the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. It also said emissions from "existing fossil fuel infrastructure could single-handedly exhaust the remaining carbon budget," meaning there is no place for new fossil fuel infrastructure in a climate-safe future, confirming previous findings from the International Energy Agency.

Because expensive fossil fuel infrastructure can last decades, environmentalists warn fossil fuel subsidies can lock-in dependence on fossil fuels and its earth-warming emissions.

“As long as you have fossil fuel subsidies in place, that market is distorted against clean energy,” Vanessa Corkall, a policy advisor with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, told Canada’s National Observer in October.

Tonight, MPs from the Bloc Québécois, NDP, Liberal Party and Green Party plan to attend a virtual townhall on ending fossil fuel subsidies #cdnpoli #fossilfuelsubsidies

“So not only is it about removing subsidies because we shouldn't be promoting fossil fuels, it's also about removing subsidies to eliminate that market distortion and, therefore, create a fair playing field so clean energy can actually achieve the market potential that it can.”

— With files from John Woodside

Natasha Bulowski / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

Keep reading

Cross-party townhall outside the halls of power.
Trudeau's Liberals have their fingers in their ears, and the Conservatives aren't coming.

"Yet another platform promise from the Liberals is to phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry by 2023. Canadian governments have been promising to end these subsidies since 2009. It is therefore already hard to trust this commitment, and it is rendered even more dubious by the Liberals' slippery definition of what exactly constitutes a subsidy.
"In a recent interview with the National Observer, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said he does not consider all transfers of government money to given to companies in the industry to be fossil fuel subsidies. He does not see giving money to them to slightly reduce their emissions from producing oil and gas to be a subsidy. He does not see giving them billions in a wage subsidy to be a subsidy. And he doesn't think it's a subsidy when his government pays to clean up old abandoned 'orphan' oil and gas wells that companies should have paid to clean up but routinely don't. It makes it hard to know what the Liberals mean when they say 'eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.'"
"The Liberal Climate Plan Is New Denialist Trash", (Media Co-op, Sep 16, 2021)

Subsidizing our own destruction.