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Energy Subsidies in Canada

The GSI program of work for Canada undertakes research and policy engagement on subsidies for fuel consumers and producers at the provincial and national level. It’s key focus is on identifying the scale of subsidie, and strategies for their reform and ultimate removal, in line with Canada’s commitments to the G7 and G20.


  • Reduce expenditure on fossil fuel subsidies that promote unsustainable environmental and social impacts
  • Reform subsidies to level the playing field for clean energy
  • Improve the fair social distribution of subsidy expenditure
  • Build a greater understanding of the scale of subsidies in Canada, and how these subsidies can be better allocated within the economy to benefit economic, environmental and social outcomes


In carrying forward this work the Global Subsidies Initiative has collaborated with a number of organizations including EquiterreOil Change InternationalEnvironmental Defence and Climate Action Network Canada.

FAQ: Canada

Oil, gas and coal are multi-billion dollar businesses, yet every year fossil fuel companies get billions in tax breaks and handouts. In a world that’s shifting to cleaner sources of energy, those subsidies don’t make sense—especially when they work against the other actions we’re taking to fight climate change.

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Press Release: Seven principles to align COVID-19 recovery with Canada’s climate commitments—new report shown to key federal ministers

Leading environmental organizations endorse new green recovery guidelines, including strict conditions on oil and gas industry July 7, 2020, Ottawa—As the federal government works out its COVID-19 economic recovery, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) today released seven principles that outline a roadmap for meeting Canada’s 2050 climate commitments while spurring economic resiliency and

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Blog: Who will pay for Alberta's orphan wells?

Alberta's orphan wells require proper decommissioning to prevent harm to the environment and surrounding community, but who will pay for this? Canadians are facing many struggles right now: an unprecedented economic slowdown due to COVID-19, a global oil price shock, and the still-urgent challenge of transitioning to a low-carbon future.

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Reports: Locked In and Losing Out: British Columbia’s fossil fuel subsidies

BC’s fossil fuel subsidies reached CAD 830 million in 2017–2018. New subsidies continue to be created, including significant support for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. Provincial fossil fuel subsidies undermine the CleanBC plan introduced by the government in 2018 and hold the province back from meeting its targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. This IISD report calls on British Columbia to pha

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Press Release: Ontario provides roughly CAD 700 million annually to subsidize fossil fuels at a time of fiscal constraint, new report shows

Ottawa, July 31 2019 – Ontario, a province undergoing an aggressive push to balance its budget after projecting a deficit of CAD 11.7 billion in 2018/19, still provides roughly CAD 700 million in subsidies to fossil fuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to climate change, according to a new study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)’s Global Subsidies Initiative.

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