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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

Church of England ends investments in heavily polluting fossil fuels


Adam Vaughan | The Guardian - April 30th 2015

Press Clipping: The Church of England has pulled £12m out of two of the most polluting fossil fuels – tar sands oil and thermal coal – as part of what it called its moral responsibility to protect the world’s poor from the impact of global warming. The move was approved by the church’s board on Thursday, the first time it has ever imposed investment restrictions because of climate change.

New map shows clean energy jobs across British Columbia


April 27th 2015

Blog Post: The Pembina Institute’s new interactive B.C. Clean Energy Jobs Map quantifies the number of jobs in the clean energy sector and pinpoints where renewable energy projects are located in the province. British Columbia has one of the most robust clean energy sectors in Canada, employing people in the province’s largest cities to its most remote communities, including many First Nations.

A new high bar for campaign integration


Jason Mogus | Communicopia - April 24th 2015

Blog Post: The Act on Climate March mobilized 25,000 people to the streets of Quebec City, three days before the Premier of Quebec's provincial climate summit. By bringing together the best of modern organizing, communications, and digital campaigning we were able to elevate our issue, change the conversation around it, and frame it in a way that boxed our opponents in, all while achieving breakthrough success in traditional and online media. It was a huge success, and, I believe, set a new high bar for campaign integration. Here's how I saw it all come together.

Wynne urges Harper to act on climate at Quebec premier’s summit


Krystle Alarcon | Vancouver Observer - April 22nd 2015

Press Clipping: Three days after 25,000 Canadians marched in Ottawa to demand more action on climate, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Canada needs to take "more responsibility" to tackle climate change, and that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has to "take a position" on the issue. Wynne said she believes the prime minister would be present at the UN climate conference in December, but urged the federal government to take a stronger stance. "I think the federal government has to take a position," Wynne said.

Fossil fuels just lost the race against renewables


Tom Randall | Bloomberg - April 17th 2015

Press Clipping: The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there's no going back. The shift occurred in 2013, when the world added 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity, compared with 141 gigawatts in new plants that burn fossil fuels, according to an analysis presented Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance annual summit in New York. The shift will continue to accelerate, and by 2030 more than four times as much renewable capacity will be added.

Albertans have plenty of reason to Norwail

Mitchell Anderson | The Tyee - April 14th 2015

Press Clipping: Back in 2012, The Tyee sent me to Norway to write a 10-part series on what Canada could learn from a country that has saved $1 trillion in oil wealth. To understand the root of the Alberta resource problem, look no further than this helpful infographic recently released by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, which itemizes oil production and resource revenues in Alberta, Alaska and Norway in 2013. Which place is doing a better job of capturing public value from a public resource? Norway realized revenues of $87.69 per barrel in 2013. Alaska managed $38.54. And Alberta? Just $4.38 -- one-twentieth what our Norwegian cousins managed to rake in.

Editorial: On the hot seat

Editorial Board | Calgary Herald - April 14th 2015

Press Clipping: This from the editorial board of the Calgary Herald: "With climate change the most important environmental issue facing Canada, Premier Jim Prentice should have taken a couple of days off from campaigning, or at least sent a cabinet minister, to attend the premiers’ climate-change summit in Quebec, which opens Tuesday. Instead, Prentice will send “senior government officials” to the summit and their job will be to observe what goes on. The optics of this are terrible. The rest of the provinces have long harboured a suspicion that Alberta cares the least about greenhouse gas emissions because of its dependence on the oilsands.

VIDEO: We’ve reached our boiling point


Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - April 14th 2015

Blog Post: Thousands of people swarmed the Fontaine de Tourny in front of the Quebec parliament on Saturday to create a giant human thermometer to show that we’ve reached our boiling point and so has the planet. It’s time to act on climate. But that was only part of the enormous crowd in Quebec City this afternoon. Police estimated it at over 25,000, making it the largest protest in Quebec City in fifteen years, and one of the largest climate marches in Canadian history.