The Alberta tar sands are the largest industrial project on earth. They are Canada’s fastest growing source of carbon pollution. And they’re damaging the land, air, water, climate and the health of First Nations and other communities. In November 2015, the government of Alberta announced a sweeping new climate change strategy that if implemented, would include a cap on climate pollution from the sands and put a price on carbon pollution. Without such a cap in place, Canada will be unable meet its commitments to cut climate pollution.
1. Cap tar sands pollution:
Tar sands climate pollution cannot continue to grow indefinitely. That’s why the Alberta government’s promise to put a hard cap on tar sands carbon emissions is so important. We will work with the province to ensure this plan becomes written into law without delay.
2. Reduce our use of fossil fuels:
To ensure a better, safer and more prosperous future for Canadians, we must move quickly to reduce our economy’s dependency on fossil fuels and the fossil fuel industry while ensuring a just transition for workers into a clean economy. It’s time to build a low carbon, clean energy economy that doesn’t damage our environment.
3. Apply a climate test:
A climate test must be applied to all proposals for new energy infrastructure in Canada. This test should measure projects against government policy, such as the federal government’s commitment to do its part to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and Alberta’s proposed cap on tar sands. Projects that undermine Canada’s efforts to cut carbon are not in our national interest.
4. Clean up the damage:
We must also clean up damage that has been done. That means cleaning up the massive tailings ponds, which are leaking toxic liquid waste from the tar sands into the Athabasca River. It also means reclaiming much more of the land that has been disturbed by industrial activity. To date, only 0.15 per cent of land disturbed by the tar sands has been certified as reclaimed.
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