VANCOUVER — In rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline project, U.S. President Barack Obama has signalled that it’s time for the world to shift away from dangerous fossil fuels.
“Ultimately, if we’re going to prevent large parts of this earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky,” the president said, noting that the U.S. must transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy and that the shift is occurring “more quickly than many anticipated.” He also pointed to the many economic benefits of energy conservation and clean energy.
The David Suzuki Foundation has long argued that making the transition from dangerous fossil fuels to clean energy is good for human health, the environment, the economy and climate systems.
“The severity of climate change will not be determined by chance. It will be determined by the choices we make now,” said David Suzuki Foundation science and policy manager Ian Bruce. “The scientific evidence shows we need to go beyond reducing carbon emissions to eliminating them within the next few decades.”
The Foundation agrees with Climate Action Network Canada that a moratorium should be placed on all oil sands expansion and that a sustainable future requires energy conservation and a shift to 100 per cent renewable energy.
“We hope President Obama’s decision will signal to Prime Minister Trudeau that it’s time for him to support ambitious targets backed by an effective, legally binding plan in Paris to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Bruce said, adding that the strong Canadian delegation to the talks is a sign that Canada is serious about tackling the issue.