Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says Canada will not agree to include language calling for the phaseout of all fossil fuels in the final agreement at this year’s United Nations climate talks in Egypt.
The agreement from the UN conference in Scotland last year called for countries to move faster to get rid of coal-fired electricity plants that are not abated with technology to capture emissions.
India is pushing to add oil and gas to that paragraph in this year’s final pact.
The European Union is supportive of the idea as long as it does not weaken the language on coal and the United States is on board as long as it applies only to “unabated” oil and gas.
Canada backed the coal language last year, but Guilbeault says it cannot get behind adding oil and gas.
He says the federal government does not have jurisdiction over natural resources and backing the language could risk a lawsuit from the provinces that Ottawa could not win.