Gas is more expensive than ever – but it’s not just at the pump where we get hurt. What most don’t know is that Canadians also pay a lot of money for gas through our tax dollars. And when we consider the environmental impact, the cost is even higher.
In fact, as we waste time complaining about how much it costs to fill our tanks, the Canadian government is pumping out our billions of tax dollars for global warming. By subsidizing not only oil and gas but also livestock farming and other harmful industries, we are essentially financing our own destruction.
Subsidies for such industries are a global problem. New research finds that the world spends 1. 1.8 trillion a year on environmentally harmful subsidies that lead to the extinction of species and the destruction of ecosystems.
The findings are shocking, as the fossil oil, agriculture and water industries receive more than 80 percent of the environmentally harmful subsidies each year. Outcome: Increased greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of natural resources and destruction of the global ecosystem. In the wake of a recent report by a UN panel on climate change – which the environmental crisis calls a “code read” for humanity – there has never been a critical time to change how we federally fund industries. To do.
In 2020, however, the federal government of Canada allocated 18 18 billion to support the country’s oil and gas sector. It was launched in 2009 following a pledge to phase out fossil oil subsidies. As Karen Hamilton wrote in the Star earlier this year, Canada is recognized as one of the world’s largest developers of fossil fuels worldwide. Does.
“Only Japan, South Korea and China have come close to providing much support to fossil oil companies,” wrote Hamilton, chairman of the overseas advocacy group. “The fact that we need to end the oil and gas industry must simply be addressed.”
But oil and gas are not the only environmentally vulnerable sectors that receive public funding and expose government hypocrisy. In 2021, the Canadian government pledged more than 7 1.7 billion in subsidies for animal husbandry, an industry also recognized as a major contributor to climate change. Just two years ago, Health Canada released a new Canadian food guide. Created without industry knowledge and with the environment in mind, the guide focused on eliminating dairy products as a food group and emphasizing protein-based plant sources. But while Canada’s food guidelines suggest that Canadians make environmentally friendly choices by choosing “plant-based foods more often”, the federal government appears to be ignoring its advice.
Last year, a United Nations report found that 90 percent of global ډالرو 540 billion in subsidies to farmers each year were “harmful.” According to the Guardian, the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, meat and milk, have received the largest subsidies. “This agricultural support is detrimental to people’s health, fuels the climate crisis, destroys nature and promotes inequality with the exodus of small farmers, most of whom are women,” wrote Damien Carrington, environmental manager. Without adjustment, “the level of subsidies was set to rise to 8 1.8 trillion by 2030”, “further damaging human well-being and exacerbating the planetary crisis.”
Without significant changes in the way we use federal funds, shifting subsidies from environmentally damaging industries to those who help the planet, we will not be able to recover the damage we have done.
Research from Stanford University and the University of California shows us one way to do this. The researchers found that “the rapid globalization of animal husbandry has the potential to stabilize greenhouse gas levels for 30 years and reduce CO2 emissions by 68 percent in this century.” Countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands are already implementing this important piece of advice, investing billions of dollars in promoting plant-based food production as a means of mitigating climate change. All the while Canada lags far behind.
At Nation Rising, a non-partisan political advocacy group, we call on the Government of Canada to remove harmful subsidies from sectors that are actively harming the planet, and toward those who do well. It is time for Canada to reconsider the broader public financial support we are giving to oil, gas and livestock farming, and to start fueling the damage we have already done.