Guilbeault slams oilpatch for sitting idle on climate action



The federal setting minister is looking out Canada’s oil firms for failing to place money behind their guarantees to deal with climate change.

Steven Guilbeault says the nation’s main oil gamers have promised to do one thing about greenhouse fuel emissions, however as a substitute have funnelled most of their record-breaking income to shareholders.

This is at the very least the third time within the final six months Guilbeault’s frustration has spilled over as oil firm income soar. This time his critiques got here within the type of a video posted to Twitter as main petroleum producers started releasing their third-quarter earnings.

“We’re already placing our cash the place our mouth is,” Guilbeault stated in an interview. “I’m undecided they’re.”

The first earnings report from the sector got here on Friday from Imperial Oil, which reported $2 billion in income for the third quarter and $6.2 billion for the primary 9 months of 2022. That compares with $1.7 billion for the primary 9 months of 2021.

The firm stated it plans to spend $1.5 billion in share buybacks and elevated its quarterly dividend by 30 per cent.

Cenovus, Suncor and Canadian Natural Resources are set to launch their earnings subsequent week.

Those 4 firms, plus MEG Energy and ConocoPhillips Canada, make up what’s referred to as the Pathways Alliance, a consortium fashioned to deal with climate action within the oilsands.

Global oil costs surged early in 2022 largely as a result of Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Canadian firms reaped the advantages.

In the primary six months of 2022, the Pathways firms recorded income in extra of $22 billion. That compares with lower than $6 billion within the first six months of 2021.

A spokesman for the Alliance wouldn’t reply to Guilbeault’s call-out Friday, saying the consortium will not remark on members’ monetary selections.

Two weeks in the past the group stated it might spend $24 billion over the following eight years on emissions-reduction initiatives, however is trying for extra monetary assist from Ottawa earlier than kicking that into gear.

The firms could get a few of what they’re asking for subsequent week when Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tables her fall mini finances. She would possibly use it to tweak the tax credit score for carbon seize and storage expertise she launched final spring.

The expertise that traps emissions from industrial sources and funnels them again underground is important to grease and fuel firms as a result of it’s a main a part of how they will proceed to supply their merchandise whereas assembly their emissions discount necessities.

The present tax credit score — principally to cowl half the value of capital investments — will value Ottawa about $2.6 billion over the following 5 years and $1.5 billion yearly for 4 years after that.

Oil firms had requested for protection of as much as 75 per cent and weren’t pleased with the proposed 50 per cent.

Canada could also be compelled to up its sport as a result of the United States Inflation Reduction Act has extra beneficiant incentives for carbon seize expertise.

Guilbeault stated Friday he didn’t know what the plan is for the tax credit score, although he acknowledged the U.S. incentive modified the home image.

“Of course we’re taking a look at what the U.S. has finished,” he stated. “… It is a aggressive funding world, we perceive that. But on the similar time, I imply, the oilsands firms are in Canada. And they can not do emission discount initiatives within the U.S. If they consider in the way forward for their firms, they should make these investments in decarbonization in Canada.”

Guilbeault stated projections present by 2050 the world’s demand for oil can be lower than one-third what it’s in the present day, and all of it must come from sources that do not add emissions by way of manufacturing.

“Will there be a spot for one of many highest emitting types of oil if they do not make these investments in decarbonization? I do not suppose so.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Oct. 29, 2022.


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