Demands Action to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Friends of Clayoquot Sound organized the recent Hands Across the Sand community action and beach clean in collaboration with Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks, Surfrider Pacific Rim at Yaaqsis / Long Beach. Together we stand for a clean energy future to protect the coast and all life on the planet. There is a global consensus that we are living in a critical decade to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. As forest fires burn across Canada, even burning the coastal rainforests here on Vancouver Island, Canada needs to take climate action to protect all life from climate destabilization by stopping investing taxpayer money in fossil fuels!
To continue subsidizing fossil fuels means more forest fires and droughts in the summer, bigger and more costly storms in the winter, in addition to more oil spills, including slow motion oil spills in the form of plastic that we end up cleaning up on the coast. As a society, we must understand the devastation that is caused by continuing to subsidize fossil fuels development including tar sands, liquefied natural gas fracking, offshore drilling, tankers, and fossil fuel export terminals. The political and business leaders today hold the greatest responsibility.
Big Profits for Big Oil?
Time to Make Big Polluters Pay
Big oil has known the climate impacts of fossil fuels since the 1970s. The fossil fuel industry spent a fortune on lobbying and disinformation campaigns to deliberately deny and discredit the science to keep the billions rolling in as long as possible. In 2022, the town of Lytton, B.C. burned to the ground due to extremely dry and hot conditions. Meanwhile, big oil’s profits last year tripled from an average of $1.5 trillion in recent years to over $4 trillion, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In response, the United Nations (UN) are developing a Climate Solidarity Pact through an all-hands-on-deck Acceleration Agenda Summit in September. The price of entry includes stopping the licensing and funding of new oil and gas development and halting expansion of existing oil and gas reserves. The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, released in March, emphasizes that drastic political action is needed to avoid climate breakdown. The key actions recommended are stopping all new fossil fuel development and phasing out existing fossil fuel usage, accompanied by increasing renewable energy investments.
While the planet burns (the highway to Tofino closed down in June due to forest fires) and household budgets are shrinking, the fossil fuel industry is feasting on hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfall profits. The climate reality is that Canada still gives billions in tax breaks, grants, financing, and other supports to the oil and gas industry every year — totalling over $20 billion taxpayer funds in 2022 (and over $100 billion if the cost of climate impacts are included). Canada’s parliamentary budget office estimates that a windfall tax extended to the oil and gas industry would generate an additional $4.4 billion in revenue over five years. It’s time to make polluters pay for their climate impacts.