Candidates step up as climate champions as momentum builds ahead of Canadian election
Unceded Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — 125+ federal candidates from coast to coast have pledged to fight to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline in the next Parliament, as citizens demand more from their leaders during the climate emergency.
Thousands of voters have identified Trans Mountain as their number one voting issue by pledging to only vote for a candidate who has promised to fight against the pipeline. Stretching from Alberta to British Columbia, the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline is currently under construction, but is only 30 per cent built.
Just last month, the IPCC released its latest alarming report on the state of the climate and warned that humanity had reached a “code red” situation. If the Trans Mountain project is completed, the oil that is shipped through this pipeline will release the same amount of climate pollution as 21 coal fired power plants. Tar sands oil is 70 per cent more carbon intensive than an average barrel of oil.
“Building a new pipeline in a climate emergency is like pouring gasoline on a wildfire, said Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director, Stand.earth “Real climate leaders know that we need to phase out our dependency on oil, not deepen it, which is why these candidates are taking a stand against the Trans Mountain pipeline.”
Stand.earth and Dogwood, alongside thousands of constituents and candidates across the country, are calling on Justin Trudeau’s government to stop this project in its tracks and free up billions of dollars to invest in a just transition for oil and gas workers.
“A candidate’s position on Trans Mountain is the clearest way for voters to tell whether they will take the climate emergency seriously or not,” said Alexandra Woodsworth, campaigns manager at Dogwood. “After years of denial and delay, Canadians are looking for leaders who have the courage to act on what the science is telling us: we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground. At only 30% built, there’s still time to cancel Trans Mountain and save billions of tax dollars for real climate action.”
The cost of construction for the Trans Mountain pipeline has more than doubled since it was first announced, now reaching over $12 billion. Costs will continue to rise as construction delays mount and will likely exceed $20 billion, and at least 15 insurers have refused to take on this project. It is unlikely that this pipeline will ever turn a profit, and it’s definitely not going to cover the cost of climate inaction. Even the Parliamentary Budget Office has called into question whether the pipeline will be profitable, especially given mounting debts, rising construction costs, and ongoing delays.
“From this summer’s wildfires and heat waves, to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida this week, the impacts of climate change can be seen all around us,” said Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Campaign Director for Stand.earth. “Building an expensive pipeline that companies are refusing to insure in the middle of a climate emergency is just plain dumb. That is why tens of thousands of Canadian voters have pledged only to support candidates who will fight this project ”
View the pledge and full list of candidates who signed on here.
Named after B.C.’s provincial flower, Dogwood is a people-powered organization driven by a shared love of place. We bring together voters from all over the political spectrum to work on the urgent challenges facing our home. Visit us at www.dogwoodbc.ca and follow us on twitter @dogwoodbc
Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with offices in Canada and the United States that is known for its groundbreaking research and successful corporate and citizens engagement campaigns to create new policies and industry standards in protecting forests, advocating the rights of indigenous peoples, and protecting the climate. Visit us at www.stand.earth and follow us on Twitter @standearth.