There's a lot to unpack in this story: Aid for Canada’s energy sector heavily weighted towards fossil fuels in COVID-19 response https://globalnews.ca/news/7183008/canada-fossil-fuels-aid-coronavirus/ #cdnpoli
did some great work crunching numbers on COVID relief packages for the G20 countries, and Canada has one of the most fossil-friendly responses (thus far) with 98% (USD 11.9B) going to fossil fuels and only USD 223M going to clean energy
3. Most of that money is from provincial govts, with Alberta's USD 5.5B investment in #KeystoneXL
pipeline being the biggest-ticket item. A bunch of the federal fossil supports aren't quantified because loan guarantee programs haven't been accessed yet https://www.energypolicytracker.org/country/canada/
4. NRCan briefing notes, obtained by @GreenpeaceCA
via Access to information, provide some insight to the federal govt's thinking. Docs available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g4uX9--rsOUtCKUSC386urN82_z25Cdc/view?usp=sharing
5. The feds recognized early on that choices made re pandemic response would shape climate outcomes: “Whether GHG emissions also rebound depends on behaviour changes, ‘green’ stimulus… The ‘green’ tone of stimulus will likely be high in Europe, low in Asia and mixed in the US.”
6. If you look at the IISD numbers, however, China has been doing a lot better than Canada on the share of 'green' stimulus, while the UK and Germany are the leaders (again - thus far)
7. Given the purpose is to prepare a “Common understanding... on the key elements that will influence the government’s ability to deliver on its climate and energy transformation ambitions”, there is surprisingly little discussion of what govt policy might look like.
8. The possibility of a federal green recovery package is not even contemplated as a factor determining the ‘new normal’ but individual behavior change is.
9. This is surprising because NRCan's global counterpart, the @IEA
,had already been screaming from the rooftops about how govts should use their COVID response to accelerate the clean energy transition https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/03/17/governments-historic-opportunity-accelerate-clean-energy-transition-iea-says/
10. NRCan briefing does note that clean energy sector is facing a "potential 'extinction-level event' due to COVID", yet this is a problem primarily because it will affect oil & gas competitiveness since O&G is assumed to be the primary driver of clean energy now and forever
11. To my mind, this deep-seated 'energy = oil' thinking (and it's not just in these docs) illustrates how effectively the oil lobbyists have 'captured' the bureaucracy's mindset and policy imagination in a way that is a barrier to getting to a zero-carbon economy.
12. Renewables & efficiency are not complements / competitive advantage for oil, they are its replacement. We will need strong federal policy to support workers & communities currently dependent on oil through that transition but pretending it won't happen is a disservice to all
13. As I said in the CP story that kicked off this thread, it doesn't have to be this way. The federal government can design the next wave of its COVID response as a green and #JustRecovery
package, but they need to turn their lovely words into hard policies. <fin>
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