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OECD talks provide Canada with an opportunity to walk the talk on fossil finance

One week before negotiators meet at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris to discuss aligning export finance with international climate goals, Above Ground and more than 175 civil society organizations from over 45 countries have released a Joint Position calling on OECD members to end export finance for oil and gas. We are urging Canada to table a proposal for prohibiting this support at next week’s meeting.

At the 2021 UN climate conference (COP 26), over half of the 38 OECD member countries, including Canada, signed a pledge (the Glasgow Statement) committing them to end international finance for fossil fuels by the end of 2022. That commitment explicitly includes “driving multilateral negotiations in international bodies, in particular in the OECD, to review, update and strengthen their governance frameworks to align with the Paris Agreement goals.”

In 2022, Canada provided nearly $20 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance for oil and gas, all of it delivered through Crown corporation Export Development Canada (EDC). The bulk of this support went to companies operating in Canada. In December, Canada released guidelines for implementing the Glasgow commitment, which the government says will affect $2.5 billion in existing international fossil fuel financing from EDC that will not be renewed. Ottawa has pledged to phase out its financing for the domestic oil and gas industry as well, but has not put forward a timeline for this phase-out.

“Canada has committed to phasing out its public finance for fossil fuels, yet year after year it continues to be one of the G20’s largest providers of fossil finance,” said Above Ground spokesperson Shawn Katz. “In upholding its Glasgow pledge to end its international fossil fuel finance, Canada finally took a step from laggard to leader. The OECD negotiations provide a crucial test of its commitment to ending all of its fossil fuel finance, as well as an opportunity for Canada to continue its move towards climate leadership on the world stage.”

Canada must seize the opportunity presented by the OECD talks to reaffirm its commitment to phasing out its public finance for fossil fuels, both at home and abroad.

Media contact:

Karen Hamilton, director: khamilton@aboveground.ngo, 438-992-5163

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