The federal government is poised to make its first major climate decision since being re-elected: whether or not to approve the Teck Frontier open-pit oilsands mine in northern Alberta.
Approving this project during a climate emergency is irresponsible. If built, it would add carbon emissions equal to all of British Columbia’s private vehicle emissions every year up until 2067! That’s long past the government’s own objective to nearly eliminate carbon pollution by 2050. And Canada would effectively abandon its Paris agreement climate commitments of keeping warming below 1.5 C.
The mega-mine is planned to be twice the size of the city of Vancouver and would be the closest oilsands development to Wood Buffalo National Park. Huge swathes of valuable climate-fighting nature, including old growth forests, wetlands and peatlands, would be destroyed.
At-risk wildlife would also be in jeopardy. In 2013, researchers estimated that caribou in Alberta were declining approximately 50 per cent every eight years. There are now just 2,300 boreal caribou left in the province, spread out across 12 herds that are all at risk of local extinction. Further disturbance will frustrate caribou recovery.
What is needed now is support for workers and the transition to clean energy systems, and protecting habitat that threatened caribou need for their survival.
Tell the government to do the right thing in this climate emergency: reject the Teck Frontier oilsands mine.