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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

Billionaire Tom Steyer is a man on fire


Tzeporah Berman | Corporate Knights - June 5th 2014

Press Clipping: Billionaire Tom Steyer tells Corporate Knights why he left his life as a fund manager to invest in his own climate convictions. "Keystone is a symbol of the bigger fight,” he said. "I believe what is really going on is the great challenge of our generation – climate change."

Alberta has the “Power to Change” its reliance on coal

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions Network - June 2nd 2014

Blog Post: Within 20 years, Alberta has the potential to drastically reduce its over-reliance on fossil fuels for power generation and replace it with renewable energy sources such as wind, sun, biomass, hydro and geothermal energy, according to a new report released today by Clean Energy Canada and the Pembina Institute. New modelling conducted for the report also shows that increasing clean electricity production will actually cost consumers less in the long run than continuing to rely so heavily on coal or natural gas combustion.

Why we might be winning this tar sands fight (as long as we keep kicking ass!)


Jason Mogus | Rabble.ca - May 8th 2014

Blog Post: I'd be dishonest if I didn't say working in climate change communications isn't always the most inspiring place to be. You drink from the firehose of information about the state of the world, the latest science and reports on impacts now and in the future on vulnerable people, how things are happening faster than we predicted and change is slower than necessary. But the last few weeks have put some serious wind in the sails of the climate change movement.

Don’t build a pipeline, build a new economic model

Janet Gray | BC--Yukon KAIROS - May 1st 2014

Blog Post: We are at a watershed moment here in Canada. We need to have a national conversation about energy, and about how we define quality of life. We must begin investing in alternative energy technologies and build the infrastructure to support them. A new economy for Canada can be based on what sustains life and protects diversity. The days of plunder and exploitation of the earth’s resources for human greed must end.

Why British Columbians want to speed the shift to clean energy


Merran Smith | Clean Energy Canada - April 28th 2014

Blog Post: A new poll released this week not only reveals that most British Columbians are keen to transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy. Why? Because it will prevent climate change from getting worse, avoid future “boom-and-bust” economic cycles, and create jobs and grow the economy.

Putting the freeze on global warming

April 28th 2014

Visual: Bill Moyers talks with two leaders who helped inspire the new fossil fuel divestment movement that Tutu is encouraging. Ellen Dorsey is executive director of the Wallace Global Fund and a catalyst in the coalition of 17 foundations known as Divest-Invest Philanthropy. Thomas Van Dyck is Senior Vice President – Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management, and founder of As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy foundation.

Carbon crash, solar dawn


Paul Gilding | RenewEconomy.com.au - March 19th 2014

Press Clipping: I think it’s time to call it. Renewables and associated storage, transport and digital technologies are so rapidly disrupting whole industries’ business models they are pushing the fossil fuel industry towards inevitable collapse. Some of you will struggle with that statement. Most people accept the idea that fossil fuels are all powerful – that the industry controls governments and it will take many decades to force them out of our economy. Fortunately, the fossil fuel industry suffers the same delusion.

Electrification, consumer empowerment, and power grid reform keys to new energy future

February 3rd 2014

Blog Post: ENE, a leading non-profit organization that researches and advocates innovative environmental policies, today released, “EnergyVision: A Pathway to a Modern, Sustainable Low Carbon Economic and Environmental Future,” which provides a framework for adopting a fully integrated and low carbon energy system ---based on data from the Northeast that is applicable on a national level. EnergyVision lays out a new vision for reforms in four key, interdependent areas that can produce a cleaner, lower cost energy system: electrifying buildings and transportation, modernizing the grid, utilizing clean electric supplies and maximizing energy efficiency. If changes proposed in this plan were to be adopted and implemented, states could be far along the path to reaching their goals for 80 percent reductions in carbon emissions.