As oil prices continue to nosedive around the world, Canada plans to play its odds placing bets on the risky commodity, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged $250 million dollars to support infrastructure projects in Alberta, in a bid to accelerate the export of fossil fuels to global markets. Trudeau spent the last few days in Canada’s heartland, meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and oil patch executives. Home to Canada’s tar sands, Alberta has been particularly vulnerable to the global oil market slump, with its provincial GDP expected to dip by two per cent in 2016, “a sharp downturn from the 3.5-per-cent average increase in GDP in the 2000-2014 period.” Energy East, a pipeline that would transport crude from Alberta to Canada’s Atlantic coast and onward to foreign markets, is one of the projects being considered by the federal government, and if approved, could get backed by these new funds. During meetings, neither Notley nor Trudeau offered assurances that this pipeline would get built, yet have both insisted that Alberta needs to get its province’s resources to market in “a responsible and sustainable way.” Despite this, many governments, municipalities, and First Nations are pushing back against fossil fuel infrastructure growth for their environmental and economic risks, further widening the gap between those in favour of accelerating the clean energy transition and those behind the curve.
— Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) February 5, 2016
- Replacing fossil fuels with renewables is good for business. As the outlook is increasingly bleak for fossil fuel giants, those already making the shift to cleaner energy sources are showing themselves to be ahead of the curve. 2015 saw renewable investment reach a record $329.3 billion worldwide, and if Trudeau is committed to having Canada known for its “resourcefulness” instead of its resources, the federal government needs to rally support for this booming industry.
- Pipelines devastate communities and wreak havoc on the environment. Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline would pump crude from Alberta’s tar sands all the way to British Columbia’s Pacific coast, without providing an effective strategy for managing an oil spill in the ocean. The Energy East pipeline, meanwhile risks generating up to 32 million tonnes of additional greenhouse gas emissions each year while failing to protect First Nations communities and cutting through densely populated cities.
- Canada can only fulfill its climate commitments if it is ready to let go of its pipeline dreams. Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands are rising faster than the country’s ability to curb them. With North America’s energy ministers meeting next week to foster opportunities for better climate and energy projects, Canada’s federal government could seize this opportunity to step up and show that it is committed to fulfilling the climate pledges it made during the election period and in Paris.
- Canada government to fast track infrastructure investments in Alberta (Reuters)
- Trudeau and Notley talk pipelines and slumping prices with oilpatch (Calgary Herald)
- Damning report finds Alberta failing aboriginals in oil sands development (Globe and Mail)
- A day in Alberta doesn’t change Trudeau’s position on Energy East (iPolitics)
- Scientists trace cancer-linked pollutant to oil sands stockpiles (National Observer)
- Alberta oil sector layoffs bringing Islanders back home (CBC)
Tools & Resources
- Commentary: Canada has energy export opportunities beyond pipelines (Globe and Mail)
- Report: Finance and climate: The transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy from a financial sector perspective (OECD)
- Report: Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring the Economics (IRENA)
- Report: Clean Energy Investment By the Numbers – End of Year 2015 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
Facebook Image to Share
- No pipelines (Globe and Mail)
Related Tree Alerts
- Fossil fuels in trouble amidst price glut
- Praises sung for Canada in Davos while people await climate action at home
- Renewing the economy: clean energy key to growth
- Canada’s new PM gets ‘Climate Welcome’ as citizens set out hopes for real change
- First Nations turn to court following Ottawa approval of tar sands pipeline
- Alberta petro-state “dynasty” shakedown awes the nation
- RT @cleanenergycan While Canadians Obsess Over Pipelines, Domestic Solar Companies Invest in India http://bit.ly/1X6xtFh #cdnpoli
- RT @BenWest Emphasis on oil sands called a ‘historic mistake for Canada’ /via @globeandmail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/emphasis-on-oil-sands-called-a-historic-mistake-for-canada/article4233521/?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links …