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

Clean Energy in the Here and Now


Cara Pike and Tzeporah Berman - October 20th 2014

Blog Post: If there is one story that fossil fuel companies and the government representatives they fund don’t want North Americans to hear is that the transition away from dirty, carbon intensive energy sources is already underway and delivering benefits to communities and individuals. Countering the fossil fuel industry’s inevitability frame requires showing these clean-energy solutions are happening now and deliver tangible benefits.

Tarsands blinding Alberta to its true renewable potential


Mike Hudema | Greenpeace Canada - October 14th 2014

Blog Post: Greenpeace has embarked on an Alberta tour to two cities, three rural communities and two First Nations to talk about solutions. The Alberta government is so fixated on extracting the destructive tar sands that it’s missing out on Alberta’s real potential. Rather than causing rising greenhouse gas emissions, countless treaty rights violations, incredible disturbances to land, air and water, the government could be a leader in clean energy solutions. Help us push the Alberta government to catch up.

Auditors find significant gaps In Ottawa’s climate effort


Clare Demerse | Clean Energy Canada - October 8th 2014

Blog Post: We’d circled Oct. 7 on our calendars in anticipation of the release of an important assessment from Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Julie Gelfand. And I’m glad we did: the new commissioner’s audit of Ottawa’s climate plans—which found fundamental gaps in the federal government’s approach—should be required reading for anyone concerned about climate and clean energy in Canada. Here are the highlights.

The battle against the tar sands is about to change

Mike Hudema | Greenpeace Canada - October 6th 2014

Blog Post: Resistance to the tar sands has not only grown in leaps and bounds, it is changing the dynamics of the entire fight. Last week's massive People's Climate March in New York that brought over 400,000 people to the streets of New York, led by climate impacted and Indigenous communities, was just one of many signs of hope that are starting to emerge. People are standing up to the largest carbon bullies on the planet and we are starting to win.

Inflection point: The masses are finally feeling it

Joan Michelson | CEO and Host, Green Connections Media - October 2nd 2014

Press Clipping: You know you've reached an inflection point when what was once considered "established wisdom" is now marginalized and the position that was marginalized is now "established wisdom.” Such is the case with climate change and the need for clean energy and sustainable products and services. "We may not like the reality of climate change, but businesses everywhere have an affirmative duty to address it and do their best to provide adaptation solutions," says Rebecca R. Rubin, president and CEO of environmental consulting firm Marstel-Day LLC.

Climate Week in your face

October 2nd 2014

Visual: InsideClimate News has posted some portraits and quotes of some of the people we met at the People's Climate March. Here you'll find 23 of 400,000 individuals speaking from their hearts about why they showed up in New York City to march for a clean-energy future.

If a tar-sands project fails in the forest

Michael Brune | Sierra Club - October 2nd 2014

Blog Post: Back in March, I wrote about the Keystone XL, saying that any rejection of new tar sands pipelines serves the purpose of keeping this dirty oil in the ground. Some good news from last week proves the point that I and others have been making. The Norwegian energy firm Statoil announced that it would pull the plug on a planned multibillion-dollar, 40,000 barrel per day destructive tar sands project in Alberta. Which means we are kicking Keystone's keister.

A group shout on climate change


September 29th 2014

Visual: The UN Climate Summit in New York City clearly moved the ball forward, not so much in the official speeches but on the streets and in the meeting rooms where corporate leaders, investors, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and state and local officials pressed the case for stronger action. President Obama, for one, was as eloquent as ever: “For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.”