The climate crisis is the greatest threat facing humanity. Floods, ice storms, and droughts are increasing. Our planet is heating up because of human-caused carbon pollution, and it’s putting our water, food and health at risk. We can solve this, but we need to act now.

The Solution

To avoid dangerous levels of climate change, we need to completely phase-out polluting fossil fuels and reduce our carbon pollution to zero by mid-century. That means saying no to dirty fossil fuels and yes to modern, clean energy. It means building a thriving clean economy.

Capping Tar Sands Pollution

The tar sands are the fastest growing source of carbon pollution in Canada and a massive barrier to meaningful climate action. We’re working to cap their expansion, raise awareness about how these projects are damaging water, air, soil, wildlife, communities and Indigenous lands, and working with others to find ways to stop and eventually repair the damage.

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Building a Clean Economy

We don’t need to choose between the environment and the economy. Reducing carbon pollution will lead to cleaner air, improved public health, new jobs, and exciting opportunities for Canadian companies as the world moves to a clean economy.

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Stopping the Energy East Pipeline

The Energy East Pipeline is the largest pipeline plan in North America. TransCanada’s plan to pump 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta to Canada’s East Coast for export is all risk, and no reward for communities and ecosystems across Canada.

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Acting on Climate

It’s time for governments at all levels to create smart policies that speed Canada’s transition away from polluting fossil fuels. From encouraging energy conservation to putting a price on carbon, we’re working with governments of all stripes to act on climate.

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Here is some of the progress we’ve been a part of to reduce carbon emissions and build a clean economy:


Co-Founded Blue Green Canada

We co-founded Blue Green Canada, an alliance between labour unions, environmental and civil society organizations that advocates for working people and the environment by promoting solutions to environmental issues that have positive employment and economic impacts.


Green Energy Act

Ontario has a thriving renewable energy industry thanks to the Green Energy Act, which provides incentives for small and large producers to invest in wind and solar projects, encouraging job growth in the province.


Built opposition to risky Line 9 pipeline

Line 9 is an aging oil pipeline owned by Enbridge Inc. that runs through some of the most densely populated parts of Canada. Enbridge wanted to use the line to ship heavy crude, including tar sands oil. The pipeline was not built for this purpose. We helped thousands of concerned residents speak out against this risky pipeline plan.


Conservation First Principle

The easiest way to cut carbon emissions is to use less energy. Ontario’s Conservation First principle prioritizes programs that can cut current and future energy usage even as the province’s population grows. Environmental Defence was a driving force in securing this initiative.


Tar sands mines shelved

The expansion of the tar sands is far from inevitable. In 2014, several projects were shelved, including: Statoil’s Corner project, Total’s Joslyn mine and Shell’s Pierre River mine. We helped call attention to the challenges of extracting this high-cost, high carbon oil.


Ontario quits coal

Ontario’s phase out of burning coal for electricity was the single largest initiative to cut in greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and dramatically reduced the number of smog days to almost none, allowing Ontarians to breathe fresher air.  


Obama rejects Keystone XL

President Obama took a stand and said he would not approve the Keystone XL pipeline project if it impacted the climate. In late 2015, he followed through and rejected TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline.


Cacouna oil terminal cancelled

After massive opposition from Quebec residents and people across Canada, TransCanada was forced to cancel its planned Energy East export terminal in Cacouna, QC on the St. Lawrence River. The massive oil tanker terminal would have threatened endangered Beluga whales.


Act on Climate March

In April 2015, more than 25,000 people from across Canada gathered in Quebec City to demand government action on climate. Environmental Defence helped thousands of concerned Ontario residents attend one of the largest climate marches in the country’s history.


Uniting the Clean economy alliance

In April of 2015 we helped unite a group of nearly 90 organizations including prominent Ontario businesses, industry associations, labour unions, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, health charities, and environmental groups. The alliance formed to support the Ontario government’s commitment to develop a climate change strategy and put a price on carbon.


Alberta Climate strategy

 The new Alberta government laid out a game-changing climate action plan. In addition to an economy-wide price on carbon, phasing out coal, and spurring renewables, the plan included a cap on tar sands emissions. We supported this plan as it is clear that for Canada to meet any meaningful carbon reduction target, a cap on tar sands emissions is essential.


Highlighting Canada’s need for climate action

At the U.N. climate summit in Paris, Canada supported a global agreement to limit global warming to 1.5. degrees. Canada must now strengthen its own emissions reduction commitment to keep that international obligation and to ensure a safe climate future. We’re working to ensure Canada turns its strong words in Paris into climate actions at home.  


Ontario developing a climate change plan & and commits to cap and trade.

Ontario’s commitment to address climate change and cut carbon is outlined in its Climate Change Strategy. A key component is the introduction of a cap-and-trade system starting in 2017 that will reduce carbon emissions and generate funds for complementary actions, like more residential solar panels, which will further cut emissions.

Breaking News

Time for a Reboot: Let’s Restore and Strengthen Canada’s Environmental Laws

After years of protests, court challenges, and lost public confidence, it’s time for a reboot. I’m not talking about the ‘90s animated, futuristic YTV kids...

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Fueling the Future of Transport

Imagine your car is absolutely silent, and that you actually have to install sound so you don’t sneak up on unsuspecting pedestrians. Envision that you...

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West Coast Update: B.C. Overwhelmingly Opposes Trans Mountain pipeline

It’s not just Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip bringing Canadians together from coast to coast this August. Opposition to tar sands pipelines is uniting...

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Five Reasons to Vote for us as Toronto's Best Enviro Group

Toronto has a lot to offer – amazing food, music, art and some fantastic environmental groups. Toronto-based NOW Magazine is inviting readers to vote on...

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"As parents, we all want the very best for our children. Climate change is a great threat to their wellbeing and ours. For the sake of our children, we all have a part to do and we need to act fast."

-Hattie Wei, Toronto


At Environmental Defence, we educate the public about a host of environmental issues, work with business and government leaders to advise on policy decisions and mobilize Canadians to create the cleaner, greener more prosperous country we’re striving for. Meet the team who works on Climate and Clean Economy.

Patrick DeRochie

Program Manager, Climate & Energy

Keith Brooks

Programs Director

Dale Marshall

National Program Manager

Join The Community

Change happens when people like you express your concern and make your voice heard. Join our online community of folks concerned about our changing climate. Join us in working to build a clean economy. We will send you a quarterly update on our campaigns, invitations to join us at events and opportunities for you to take action.

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