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

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.”

We must heed Naomi Klein’s call

Ian Gill | The Tyee - September 29th 2014

Press Clipping: Naomi Klein's new book, "This Changes Everything”, makes clear what we're up against and what has to happen. It is unambiguous in its condemnation of a system whose failures are now writ so large as to present the greatest mortal and moral threat our species has ever faced. She is equally unambiguous about what needs to be done, and who needs to do it. And when.

How the People’s Climate March in NYC is reinventing the climate movement

Joseph Boutilier and Alex Guest | Council of Canadians - September 26th 2014

Blog Post: The People’s Climate March was a turning point in the struggle for climate justice because it showcased the growing unity of communities that have rarely been seen on the same side. Indigenous communities who are resisting the fossil fuel industry marched with labour unions, students with seniors, scientists and faith leaders held up banners together, and everyone followed the lead of the frontline communities most affected by climate injustice. It is a story of global people power and what can happen when we choose to see our mutual humanity in the faces of strangers.

Globe Editorial: We already know what you won’t do about climate change


Editorial Board | Globe and Mail - September 25th 2014

Press Clipping: So, the government does not intend to address greenhouse gas emissions, particularly those from the oil-and-gas industry, by adopting a politically suicidal plan of economic destruction? Got it. But what does it intend to do? Telling Canadians what the plan isn’t doesn’t tell us what the plan is, or if you even have one. Which may explain why the PM isn’t eager to be front-and-centre at a UN meeting on climate change. Between the extremes of shutting down the oil sands – totally unreasonable – and doing nothing – totally unacceptable – there’s a lot of middle ground. The government needs to start exploring the territory.

Canada risks being left behind as green energy takes off

Richard Blackwell | Globe and Mail - September 22nd 2014

Press Clipping: The shift to clean energy is producing huge economic gains, but Canada risks being left behind if the federal government doesn’t get on board, a new report warns. That’s the message from energy and climate think tank Clean Energy Canada, which paints a picture of a world increasingly embracing – and investing in – green energy alternatives.

‘Flood Wall Street’ protesters to risk arrest at New York climate change sit-in

September 22nd 2014

Press Clipping: Hundreds of protesters plan to risk arrest on Monday during an unsanctioned blockade in New York City's financial district to call attention to what organizers say is Wall Street's contribution to climate change. The Flood Wall Street demonstration comes on the heels of Sunday's international day of action that brought some 310,000 people to the streets of New York City. "This civil resistance, civil disobedience, shows a commitment to the cause," said spokeswoman Leah Hunt-Hendrix. "We are trying to escalate this as an urgent issue and show how Wall Street is profiting from the crisis."