Toronto, ON – At this week’s Climate Summit of the Americas we’ve heard repeatedly that climate action is needed and it’s needed now. So it’s critical to ask the hard questions about the expansion of Canada’s fossil fuel infrastructure, especially the tar sands because they are so large. 
By 2020 Alberta, with 11 per cent of the population, will be producing the same level of GHGs as Ontario, Quebec and B.C. combined – home to 75 per cent of the population. If tar sands expansion proceeds as planned, it will wipe out all of the hard won emission reductions of the rest of the country, including Ontario’s coal plant closures.
We can’t have a Canadian carbon pollution strategy that contributes our fair share of global reductions by focusing only within provincial borders. What happens in Alberta does not stay in Alberta. Reducing emissions in one place only to increase them elsewhere is pointless to the climate.
Canada needs a binding commitment to meaningful action within its borders. And it will need to bring that to the U.N. climate summit in Paris this December.
The tar sands make up just 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP. In Canada, we do many other things and we do them well. An expansion of the oil sands is not inevitable.
The good news is that an alternative, hopeful economic future exists for Canada. We can work to build a just, clean energy economy. And we’re pleased that Ontario is moving forward to put a price on carbon to cut its emissions.
Reducing pollution is not just the right thing to do, there are many benefits that it will bring, including cleaner air, improved public health, more jobs, and new business opportunities.
That’s why the Clean Economy Alliance, comprised of nearly 80 organizations representing a broad cross-section of Ontarians, has united to urge Ontario to show leadership in addressing the crucial issue of climate change.
This past Monday, the Alliance hosted a climate design lab for 150 experts in their fields where we discussed in detail which concrete actions could help advance Ontario toward creating a robust low carbon economy that meets the province’s 2020 and 2030 carbon pollution reduction goals.
We are helping to build a template for change and we are excited to be participating in an important conversation about how Canada can become an international leader on the road to creating the clean economy.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 258; 570-2878 (cell); ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca