Tar Sands Solutions Network

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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.

Updates & Resources

Another historic day in the battle to stop the tar sands


Mike Hudema | Greenpeace Canada - November 25th 2015

Blog Post: Today people slowed the beast again but this time we did it at the source. After a string of pipeline victories and over a decade of campaigning on at least three different continents, the Alberta government has finally put a limit to the tar sands. Today they announced they will cap its expansion and limit the tar sands monster to 100 megatons a year (equivalent to what projects already operating and those currently under construction would produce).

Our big moment to show Canadians 100% clean energy is 100% possible


November 25th 2015

Blog Post: Thousands of people have signed up to march in Ottawa on November 29 to send our government leaders to the UN Paris Climate Conference with a clear message: Canadians want bold action on climate change. One hundred per cent clean energy is not only necessary to solve the climate crisis -- it is 100 per cent possible. Support this flagship event by attending a Global Climate march near you.

Lawyers call on the Prime Minister to act on Canada’s obligation to fight climate change

Karine Péloffy | Quebec Environmental Law Centre - November 25th 2015

Blog Post: In an open letter published in Le Devoir, the Quebec Environmental Law Centre (CQDE) invites the Prime Minister to fulfill his legal obligations in regards to the struggle against climate change. Canada has never adopted – much less implemented – binding reduction targets that would sufficiently respond to the international scientific consensus on climate change. Canada has let greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) rise to 18% since the beginning of concerted international action on this cause, to the dismay of many provinces.

Here’s what we know—and don’t know—about Alberta’s carbon tax

Trevor Tombe | Maclean's - November 23rd 2015

Press Clipping: Months of speculation ended Sunday when Premier Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announced a carbon tax is coming to Alberta. Pricing carbon is one of the most sensible policy prescriptions to address greenhouse gas emissions, so this is good news. But, of course the devil is in the details, so we should explore some of those.

Alberta Premier puts a cap on tar sands development


Kenny Bruno | Corporate Ethics International - November 22nd 2015

Blog Post: They said it was all coming out of the ground "anyway." Not so fast. Alberta Premier Notley formally introduced the Alberta climate package today, including a "legislated" 100 megaton annual cap on emissions from the tar sands. 100 MT is still a lot, but remember that industry has planned for twice that, or more. All the smart work, the hard work, and the persistence has led to a watershed moment for the Tar Sands Campaign.

Alberta climate plan - historic day, more to be done


Keith Stewart | Greenpeace Canada - November 22nd 2015

Blog Post: Today is a historic step for the province of Alberta. After too many years of previous provincial governments heading in the wrong direction and ignoring the problem, we applaud Premier Notley for listening to the growing calls of people across the province and the country demanding action on climate change. The measures announced today will start to slow Alberta’s growing emissions, diversify its economy, create jobs, and allow the province to start taking advantage of its tremendous renewable energy potential. These policies are important first steps, but much bigger emission reductions will be needed for Alberta to do its part to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Alberta’s climate change strategy targets carbon, coal, emissions

November 22nd 2015

Press Clipping: Alberta's climate change strategy includes a tax on carbon, a cap on oilsands emissions, a phasing out of coal-fired electricity and an emphasis on wind power. "Our goal is to become one of the world's most progressive and forward-looking energy producers," said Premier Rachel Notley. "We are turning the page on the mistaken policies of the past, policies that have failed to provide the leadership our province needed."