Canada Subsidizes Fossil Fuels at Expense of Environment: Kairos

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The federal government will spend $1.5 billion in additional subsidies to tar sands companies that emit greenhouse gases harmful to the environment, far more than it will spend on initiatives to promote energy efficiency, conservation and renewable alternatives, said Kairos, a Canadian ecumenical justice organization.

The government confirmed the tax break figures in response to a formal petition that Kairos filed with the auditor general of Canada last November. (The Anglican Church of Canada is a member of Kairos.)

"Why does Canada spend millions of dollars on subsidizing oil and gas industries--a prime cause of climate change--and so little money on green alternatives when the majority of Canadians want action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? That was the essential question we asked the government," said John Dillon, program co-ordinator and co-author of a new Kairos study, Pumped Up: How Canada Subsidizes Fossil Fuels at the Expense of Green Alternatives. "The government didn't answer the core question."

Pumped Up cited that in 2006 and 2007, the federal government announced $8.6 billion in funding for 20 energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction initiatives over the next two to nine years. "After accounting for inflation, these funds amount to less than the subsidies provided to oil and gas industry from 1996 to 2002," the study said. …