Following the announcement of Alberta’s new Climate Change strategy, Cameron Fenton, Canadian Tar Sands Organizer with 350.org issued this response:
“Alberta’s climate plan is a big step in the right direction for a province that has spent so long on the wrong side of climate action. But, we still have a long way to go to reach the kind of climate leadership that Canada needs to meet our obligation to 2ºC.
A cap on tar sands emissions is the kind climate policy that we needed a decade ago. Scientist tell us that at least 85% of tar sands reserved need to stay in the ground to meet Canada’s climate obligations, and an emissions cap alone won’t be enough to get us there. This policy could mean that some approved tar sands projects will not be able to move forwards – and that’s a good thing – but it also opens the door to manipulation by the fossil fuel industry, an industry that has undermined climate action in Alberta and around the globe time and time again. It’s 2015, the measure of climate leadership is no longer setting a target for how much carbon you’ll put in the air but legislating based on science and keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
That’s why now, more than ever, we need bold climate leadership from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Alberta just leapfrogged the Government of Canada on climate ambition, and Prime Minister Trudeau should use this announcement to move forward a plan to truly meet our obligations to a 2ºC world: freeze tar sands expansion, scrap unnecessary pipeline projects and come up with a deliberate plan that keeps tar sands in the ground and builds a justice-based clean energy economy. The governments of Alberta and Canada should remember that people power made this announcement possible, and that this movement is just getting started.”
350.org also supports the call that the federal government of Canada and its provincial counterpart, the Alberta government, strengthen and build on commitments to uphold and affirm First Nation rights, and that this must be reflected in any and all climate change policy. This must be achieved through direct partnerships and allocation of resources to ensure meaningful and adequate participation from First Nation and Metis communities on this and any all future policies.
Cameron Fenton. 604-369-2155