From Pathways Alliance promotional materials.
From Pathways Alliance promotional materials.

More Hot Air from Big Oil

Pathways ads have aired in Canada during sporting events like the Super Bowl and FIFA World Cup, have taken up the entire front page of The Toronto Star, and have been all over social media and on the radio.

Canada’s biggest oil sands companies, banding together as the Pathways Alliance, are getting called out for misleading advertising.

Their “Let’s Clear The Air” campaign wants us to believe oil sands producers are cleaning up their act and are “on a path to net-zero emissions.”

But that’s just greenwashing, says Priyanka Vittal, legal counsel for Greenpeace Canada.

In March, Greenpeace filed a complaint to Canada’s Competition Bureau claiming Pathways has made false and misleading claims in their advertising.

“The Pathways Alliance’s members continue to expand fossil fuel production, their net-zero plan doesn’t even consider all emissions — and it still doesn’t add up to zero,” Priyanka says in a statement.

Their plan involves the use of carbon capture, which is risky, expensive, and unproven at scale. But even if they capture some greenhouse gas emissions that way, they won’t be capturing 80% of the emissions from the product lifecycle of oil and gas products, which are generated from the final use (e.g. burning) of the fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, oil sands production is at record highs, as are profits. And the companies are asking for billions more in government subsidies to pursue their schemes.

Disclosure: The article author was employed until March 2023 by Environmental Defence Canada and worked on campaigns related to Pathways Alliance. He is no longer paid by EDC or other environmental advocacy organizations.

This article appeared in the 2023 May/June issue.