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

Launching the People’s Climate March


August 6th 2014

Visual: The People's Climate March will be the largest march demanding action on climate change in the history of the planet. It will be held on September 21, 2014, when world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution. Join us as we take a stand to bend the course of history.

IMF’s blunt message to nations: Raise fossil-fuel taxes to fight climate change

John H. Cushman Jr. | InsideClimate News - August 2nd 2014

Press Clipping: Countries all over the world, including the United States, should be collecting much higher pollution taxes on fossil fuels—stiff enough to reflect the long-term cost of global warming's damage, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday in an important new study. "Many energy prices in many countries are wrong. They are set at levels that do not reflect environmental damage, notably global warming."

We can kick the carbon habit. Here’s how.


Clare Demerse - July 28th 2014

Press Clipping: It’s July, it’s gorgeous out and 2050 feels like a long, long way off. Maybe that’s why a recent report on our global low-carbon future landed with barely a ripple in this country. But its findings should be required reading for anyone interested in Canadian climate and energy policy. Like so many great recipes, it turns out that the recipe for a low-carbon future is surprisingly simple.

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.