Calgary, AB – Today the federal government announced it emissions cap framework outlining a cap-and-trade system for the oil and gas sector. The governments framework proposes to cap 2030 emissions at 35 to 38 per cent below 2019 levels in order to reach the government’s goal of reducing emissions in the sector to net zero by 2050. The Indigenous Resource Network (IRN) is seeking an Indigenous exemption from the cap for Indigenous communities who are engaged in the oil and gas sector.
“Indigenous people support responsible development and are considerably engaged in the oil and gas sector. According to the Business Council of Canada, a cap on emissions would also mean a cap on production. Additionally, this would also result on a cap on Indigenous opportunity in the oil and gas sector” said John Desjarlais executive director of the Indigenous Resource Network.
The governments proposed emissions cap would limit Indigenous communities in a number of ways:
- Job and contracting opportunities limiting both operations and procurement;
- Lack of consultation with Indigenous people focusing on those that agree with the cap going directly against UNDRIP action plan measures 33 and 34;
- Directly capping the Canadian and Indigenous oil and gas operations will lead to global emissions to grow.
Desjarlais continued by saying “a pathway to self-determination is being achieved through the ownership of oil and gas projects and involvement in the sector. Indigenous people know what is environmentally sustainable and can make those informed decisions as it relates to investment and livelihood opportunities”.
Canada’s proposed emissions cap policy directly contradicts the governments promises on reconciliation and Indigenous self-determination through UNDRIP in. Action Plan measure 33 and 34, working in consultation with Indigenous peoples the government will work to “enhance the participation of Indigenous peoples” and have “regulatory authority” in resource projects.
The Indigenous Resource Network announced its ‘Don’t Cap Indigenous Opportunity’ Campaign late 2022 advocating for an Indigenous exemption from the proposed emissions cap. As part of our advocacy IRN has submitted a brief to the Natural Resources Committee studying the cap, has appeared before committee as a witness, and has met with senior decision makers in Ottawa outlining our concerns. IRN will continue this advocacy until an Indigenous exemption is made. John continued saying “since the actual regulations will be announced later next year and the actual cap won’t be in place until 2026, the IRN will continue to advocate for an Indigenous exemption in the governments emissions cap.”