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Export Development Canada must account for its climate impacts

Climate change represents a global human rights emergency of unprecedented proportions. As the world’s third largest oil exporter, Canada must address its contribution to this crisis.

Emissions from Canada’s fossil fuel exports surged by over 46% between 2012 and 2019, reaching 954 megatonnes in 2019 – more than our total domestic emissions that year. These exported emissions are facilitated in part by the billions in support provided to fossil fuel companies by Export Development Canada (EDC), at a time when it should be urgently aligning its business with Canada’s climate commitments.

With the trade minister currently preparing her annual statement outlining Ottawa’s policy expectations for Export Development Canada, Above Ground has sent her the following letter urging the government to place the highest priority on making this Crown corporation accountable for its global climate impacts.

Specifically, we call on the minister to emphasize in her statement to EDC that the agency must:

  • Immediately end all support for fossil fuel development of any kind, both at the project and company level, in Canada and abroad. All definitions and policies must exclude loopholes that would allow continued support for false climate solutions such as natural gas, CCUS and blue (fossil-based) hydrogen.
  • Adopt a portfolio-wide emissions cap in line with a credible 1.5°C pathway. EDC must calculate its portfolio emissions to include the scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions of the business it supports.
  • Rapidly scale up support for sustainable, renewable and equitable climate solutions that accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and reduce overall energy consumption.
  • In these and all other business areas, uphold human and Indigenous rights, including by ensuring that all of its clients operate in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and its principle of free, prior and informed consent, as well as with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
  • Publicly report in a timely and transparent manner on all transactions, disclosing the type and exact amount of each, as well as the sector and full lifecycle emissions of the activities supported by EDC. This should include a clear indication of which projects and companies are classified as “cleantech,” and on what basis.

What is a Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities?

A Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities is a letter used by ministers to communicate the government’s public policy priorities and expectations to Crown corporations. Ministers may issue these letters in a number of circumstances, most notably to feed into the corporation’s annual corporate planning process.

Read the full letter below.

What is a Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities?

A Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities is a letter used by ministers to communicate the government’s public policy priorities and expectations to Crown corporations. Ministers may issue these letters in a number of circumstances, most notably to feed into the corporation’s annual corporate planning process.

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