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Canadian Export Support to Fossils Exceeded Cleantech 12-Fold from 2012 to 2017

Lydia Jacobs/Public Domain Pictures

Canada’s Export Development Corporation (EDC) provided more than 12 times as much financial support to fossil companies as it did to clean technology producers between 2012 and 2017, according to a new report released yesterday by Oil Change International and several Canadian environmental groups.

The report, based on EDC’s own data, showed the Crown agency facilitating C$62 billion in financial support for oil and gas firms, the Toronto Star reports, compared to only $5 billion for cleantech.

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“The focus on oil and gas carried over from the Conservative era when the Liberals took power under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November 2015,” the Star adds, citing the report. EDC “facilitated $20.9 billion in support of oil and gas during the last two years of the Harper Conservative mandate, and then facilitated $22.4 billion under the first two years of Liberal governance.”

Established in 1944, EDC is a self-financed federal agency that hands out loans, business insurance, and other financial services worth about $100 billion per year to Canadian exporters and foreign investors, the Star notes. “As it is mandated to do every 10 years, Ottawa is currently reviewing the agency’s practices, while the EDC is also holding its own internal review of its environmental and social risk management policies.”

The Oil Change report has something to say about that review.

“We think this is wholly inconsistent with both Canada’s climate commitments domestically and under the Paris Agreement, and I think it’s out of step with a general trend [2] in international finance away from fossil fuels,” said Patrick DeRochie, climate and energy program director at Environmental Defence, who worked with Oil Change on the report.

“The Liberals have pledged to do away with all “inefficient” fossil-fuel subsidies by 2025, but critics have demanded more action and clarity as the government moves toward that commitment,” the Star notes.

“It is going to require a massive shift of financing away from fossil fuels,” DeRochie said. “The climate leadership that this government has shown, it’s not being reflected by its export credit agency.”