Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for Canada speaks during a press conference at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alastair Grant

Canada, U.S. say end fossil fuel subsides as COP26 draft called ‘weasel words’

OTTAWA — Canada’s environment minister says he thinks fossil fuel subsidies should be eliminated as United Nations negotiators wrestle over a final text in the closing hours of the Glasgow climate talks.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the subsidies should be phased out with a timeline.

Guilbeault’s remarks came at his closing press conference at the climate talks, known as COP26, where a draft text addressing fossil fuels is sparking sharp criticism.

The draft calls for phasing out “unabated” coal power and “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.

Those were branded as “weasel words” by Catherine Abreu, a member of Canada’s net-zero advisory body and the executive director of Destination Zero.

Guilbeault says it is premature to judge what will be in the final text as he touted the backing of his American counterpart, John Kerry, who denounced the continued subsidies as the “definition of insanity.”