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Cdn environment groups tell world Canada failing to slow emissions from oil and gas

The Syncrude oil sands extraction facility is reflected in a tailings pond near the city of Fort McMurray, Alta., on June 1, 2014. Canadian environment groups are at the global climate change conference in Poland today calling out the federal government for allowing the oil and gas industry to systematically weaken Canada's efforts to be a climate leader. Environmental Defence and Stand Earth are among the groups releasing a report which shows emissions from the oil and gas sector continue to rise and intensive lobbying from the industry means about 80 per cent of those emissions will be exempt from the carbon price. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

OTTAWA — Canadian environment groups are at the global climate-change conference in Poland today calling out the federal government for letting the oil and gas industry undermine Canada’s efforts to be a climate leader.

Environmental Defence and Stand Earth are among the groups releasing a report that shows emissions from the oil-and-gas sector continue to rise and intensive lobbying from the industry means about 80 per cent of those emissions will be exempt from the federal carbon price.

Environmental Defence national program manager Dale Marshall says it is incredibly frustrating that federal and provincial governments keep throwing themselves at the industry with huge subsidies and now a $4.5-billion pipeline purchase, and yet the industry continues to claim it doesn’t get any federal support.

He says caving to the oil and gas industry is stalling Canada’s climate policies and is the main thing standing in the way of Canada’s being seen as a climate leader on the world stage.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna arrived in Katowice, Poland for the COP24 talks today where the nations of the world are aiming to agree on rules for how the Paris climate-change agreement will be implemented.

Canada is also there pushing an anti-coal alliance to wean the world from coal power by 2050 but Marshall said Canada needs to also showleadership on oil and gas, which are far bigger problems for Canada’s emissions targets than coal is.

The Canadian Press