Pembina reacts to NDP announcement on fossil fuel subsidies and clean energy

March 31, 2011

OTTAWA, ON — Clare Demerse, acting director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program, made the following statement in response to today's fossil fuel subsidy reduction and clean energy funding commitment from the New Democratic Party (NDP):
 
"Although the party published few details, the policy the NDP outlined
today is important on two counts.

"Jack Layton's party proposes to end federal fossil fuel subsidies immediately, and put the money saved into clean energy like wind and solar. It also proposes to support research and green skills training for Canadian workers. Without seeing the details, we don't know exactly how effective the NDP's proposals would be, but the areas the party proposes to support are essential ones.

"Our research shows that investing in clean energy and energy efficiency can create more jobs than 'business as usual'. With other countries charging ahead to dominate the growing clean energy market, Canada needs a much bolder strategy to capture these jobs and opportunities. Today's NDP commitments, which include targeted support for northern communities, would move Canada in the right direction.

"Proposals like these provide a sharp contrast to this year's federal budget, which effectively ended support for new renewable energy in Canada. The budget did commit to phase out a specific oilsands subsidy and extended a home energy efficiency program, but that one-year extension simply isn't enough to kick-start a clean energy transformation in Canada.

"As the federal Department of Finance has acknowledged, there's simply no need for fossil fuel subsidies in today's Canadian economy. Along with other G20 countries, Canada committed to phase out the estimated $1.4 billion in annual federal subsidies it provides to oil companies. The NDP plan would fulfill that commitment."

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Contact:

Clare Demerse (English / français)
Acting Director, Climate Change, Pembina Institute
Cell: 613-762-7449

Julia Kilpatrick (English / français)
Media Manager, Pembina Institute
Cell: 613-265-5579
Phone: 613-216-1976 ext 30

Background:

The recent Pembina Institute report Reducing Pollution, Creating Jobs recommends phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and investing in clean energy and "green jobs" skills development.

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