Tar Sands Solutions Network

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Creating a Low Carbon Future

Canada will continue to produce and use oil for some time, but building an economy based on tar sands oil means missing the boat on the enormous employment and economic opportunities created by the inexorable global transition towards renewable energy. In fact, investment in renewable energy now outpaces investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, and employment opportunities in the renewable energy sector is set to grow substantially in the years ahead. A low carbon future is on the horizon, and Canada needs to abandon the tar sands so it won't be left behind.

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Over the past eight years, and despite a global economic collapse and subsequent challenges in the world’s major economies, the renewable energy sector experienced solid growth. According to recent estimates, the renewable energy sector employs five million people worldwide, and is predicted to grow rapidly as the world transitions to clean sources of energy.

At the same time, the warning signs that we need to get serious about tackling global warming have never been clearer. Thousands of heat records were broken across the continent this year, and Arctic sea ice was almost 700,000 square kilometres smaller than ever before, a loss equivalent to the size of Texas.

The oil industry’s plan to dramatically increase oil production will lead Canada in the wrong direction if we want to reduce climate-changing pollution, ensure a healthy planet for our children, and take advantage of the financial benefits of the renewable energy sector that will inevitably replace the oil industry as the economic engine of our society. Indeed, investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy and public transit not only reduces pollution, it creates six to eight times more jobs than comparable investments in fossil fuels.

We know that Canadians care deeply about both the environment and the economy. The oil industry’s plans to ramp up tar sands production to over five million barrels per day are not in the best interest of Canadians, economically or environmentally. It's time to invest in a clean energy economy and a low carbon future.

Creating a Low Carbon Future Updates & Resources

The big climate deal: What it is, and what it isn’t

Bill McKibben | 350.org - November 14th 2014

Blog Post: Last night, just weeks after the largest climate mobilization ever, the world's two biggest polluters -- the United States and China -- announced their most ambitious climate action yet. That is not a coincidence: it's a sign that our pressure is working, and that we need to apply much more. Here's my take on what the just-announced plan from President Obama and Premier Xi is, and isn’t.

Pembina reacts to U.S.-China climate announcement

Chris Severson-Baker | Pembina Institute - November 14th 2014

Blog Post: “Canada has long justified its own failures to limit the growth of greenhouse gas emissions by pointing to the inaction of the U.S. and China, but that excuse does not stand up to scrutiny,” Chris Severson-Baker, managing director of the Pembina Institute, said in response to the U.S.-China joint announcement on climate change. “The U.S. is likely to meet its 2020 emissions reduction target, and is now committing to reduce emissions even further by 2025. Canada, meanwhile, is on track to miss the same 2020 target by 20 per cent."

Scotland produces enough wind energy to power all its homes


Loz Blaine | gizmag - November 11th 2014

Press Clipping: Scotland is pushing ahead with green energy, with First Minister Alex Salmond claiming that renewables could provide 100 percent of Scotland's energy by 2025. And last month, Salmond's push for wind farms appears to have borne fruit – wind power alone generated some 126 percent of the energy needed to power every home in Scotland in what the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) is calling a "bumper month." Even solar fared well despite the chilly conditions, with domestic solar PV panels chipping in around a third of the domestic energy bill.

How renewables in developing countries are leapfrogging traditional power

Jeff Spross | Climate Progress - November 6th 2014

Press Clipping: According to Climatescope 2014 — a worldwide analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) of 55 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa — developing countries’ renewable energy capacity grew 143 percent between 2008 and 2013. By contrast, the wealthy western nations saw only 84 percent growth.

SPECIAL BRIEFING: Global Climate Change Assessment

November 4th 2014

Publication: David Suzuki Foundation has summarized key findings of the IPCC’s three reports released over the past 13 months examining the solutions, risks and science of climate change and included additional research relevant for Canada. We also outline what Canadian governments can do while maximizing potential benefits to citizens and business.

Alberta should become Canada’s leader in renewable energy


November 4th 2014

Blog Post: The province of Alberta has everything it needs to become a leader in the development of renewable energy. It’s one of the sunniest and windiest places in Canada and it has a trained and educated work force. What it doesn’t have is a government willing to let the oil industry relax its hold over the province’s political decision makers.

Get out and vote for your future in BC


October 29th 2014

Blog Post: British Columbia is becoming a battleground. On one side are federal politicians and foreign companies rushing to transport Alberta bitumen and American coal through our communities. On the other side are citizens like you – people united by their love of home and the belief that decisions over air, land and water in British Columbia should be made by those who live here. All we can do is push back: talking one-on-one with voters, providing facts about the candidates, and making sure people get to the polls.