New report says Ottawa and Alberta are conspiring to kill climate change initiatives in other countries

The report documents extensive evidence of federal and Alberta government lobbying efforts against clean energy policies proposed in the United States, Europe and the state of California.

Ottawa (22 Nov. 2010) — Newly-released documents obtained by the Climate Action Network Canada (CAN) reveal that the Harper government has established an Oil Sands Advocacy Strategy in Canada's foreign affairs department and that federal officials are systematically trying to kill clean energy and climate change policies in other countries to promote the interests of oil companies.

The findings are contained in a new report being released today by CAN, a network of over 75 of Canada’s leading non-governmental organizations. The report is entitled The Tar Sands' Long Shadow: Canada's Campaign to Kill Climage Policies Outside Our Borders.

“We have proof that the Harper government is aggressively intervening in Europe and the United States to kill clean energy policies in the name of promoting the tar sands,” says CAN spokesperson Graham Saul. “Canada is not just exporting dirty oil anymore — we’re also exporting dirty policies.”

The report documents extensive evidence of lobbying by the federal and Alberta governments against clean energy policies proposed in the United States, Europe and the state of California.

Documents obtained by CAN through access to information legislation reveal a broad-based and secretive Oil Sands Advocacy Strategy led by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Environmental groups dismayed

The revelations have prompted swift criticism from environmental groups and organizations.

“Canada shouldn’t throw up roadblocks in the way of countries and states that are trying to do the right thing and move towards a clean energy future,” says Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada.

“Greenpeace has set up a tip line for federal civil servants who are frustrated with the oil industry calling the shots on Canada’s energy and climate policy and want to help us separate oil and state.”

The tip line is being advertised in today’s Hill Times newspaper, a Parliament Hill newspaper in Ottawa, and will be promoted throughout the coming year.

“A friendly neighbor does not secretly try to undermine your clean energy jobs and efforts to fight climate change,” says Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Washington D.C.-based Natural Resources Defense Council.

“The greed for tar sands oil is not only harming the Boreal forest – it is harming the North American clean energy future," she says.

“We are calling on the governments of Canada and Alberta to stop all efforts to kill clean energy and climate policy in other countries,” adds Steven Guilbeault of Équiterre.

“This is an outrage, it is a reckless approach to energy policy that needs to be brought to an end.”


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
Download CAN report: The Tar Sands' Long Shadow - Canada's Campaign to Kill Climate Policies Outside Our Borders

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