Lobbying against Nature: Greenpeace Canada investigation reveals united industry front pushing for offsets

Lobbying against Nature: Greenpeace Canada investigation reveals united industry front pushing for offsets

TORONTO – A new investigation released today by Greenpeace Canada reveals a united industry front pushing for federal offset policies that would allow them to pay-to-pollute, instead of urgently needed measures like strong nature protections and absolute emissions reductions.

Through Access to Information requests and analyzing the federal lobbyist registry, the investigation identifies the powerful logging, mining, agribusiness and oil interests lobbying the government to prioritize both “carbon offsets” and “biodiversity offsets” schemes.

This includes minutes from a June 2023 roundtable hosted by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to discuss with major resource companies the implementation of the landmark Kunming-Montreal Nature Agreement. 

The investigation also documents a huge increase in these and other offsets proponents lobbying key federal ministries responsible for setting environmental policy. According to our research, lobbying of these departments has increased by a stunning 222% since the Trudeau government was elected. Further, at least one ECCC staffer met with DevvStream, a carbon credit investor linked to a deal that cheated Indigenous communities in Bolivia. 

Shell Canada, in particular, emerges as a key offset backer in the lead-up to the new federal Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System, despite recently taking down its own offsets advertisements in the face of a Competition Bureau complaint questioning their veracity. 

Shane Moffatt, Head of the Nature and Food campaign, Greenpeace Canada, said:

“Offsets are a distraction that enable wealthy corporations and big polluters to simply pay a fee in order to keep emitting greenhouse gasses and destroying wildlife. Our research shows how remarkably united extractive corporations are in lobbying the federal government to turn nature into a commodity that will serve their narrow interests. 

That is why we are calling for an immediate independent review of federal offset programmes to transparently evaluate their benefits to the Canadian public, not big polluters. Instead of more offsets, we need strong new legislation to finally implement Canada’s international nature commitments.”

Note to editors: 

Lobbying against Nature investigation is available here

Photos from Greenpeace Canada’s activity in Ottawa, calling on Justin Trudeau to pass a new nature law, can be found here

Greenpeace Canada’s submission to the federal government’s Strategic Assessment of Climate Change is here;

Greenpeace Canada’s reaction to the federal government’s announcement of a greenhouse gas offset system is available here

Greenpeace Canada’s reaction to Shell abandoning its offsets claims can be found here and our Competition Bureau complaint here

Greenpeace Canada’s official submission to the federal government on the Offsetting Policy for Biodiversity is here;

Protecting Nature – Protecting Life report, highlighting the need for a new nature law can be read here.  

For media inquiries, please contact:

Dina Ni, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada

dina.ni@greenpeace.org; +1 416 820-2148

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