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Canadian leadership in Paris talks means in Canada must abandon oil pipelines

Monday, December 14, 2015


Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory - Lawyers with the West Coast Environmental Law Association today challenged the Canadian government to translate its international commitments in Paris to aggressive climate action on the ground in Canada, including decisive measures to shift Canada’s economy away from fossil fuel infrastructure –like oil pipelines that enable greenhouse gas pollution –and to promote low carbon solutions. 

In doing so, Canada’s strong voice for the inclusion of Indigenous rights and human rights in the Paris Agreement must also inform climate action at home, say the lawyers.

“Canada showed leadership in Paris, promising to strive to stabilize global temperature increases due to fossil fuel pollution at 1.5 ˚C. If that’s to be anything more than rhetoric, the government needs to act now to halt the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in Canada – such as the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain oil pipeline and tanker projects,” said Jessica Clogg, Executive Director & Senior Counsel. “We were pleased to see Canada supporting aggressive targets internationally, but real action will also mean moving beyond business as usual at home.”

To identify further steps required to achieve our climate ambitions, West Coast recently recommended that Canada and the Provinces develop a national science committee to advise the governments on carbon budgeting – a key mechanism to enable coordination between different levels of government in Canada to achieve ambitious, science-based climate targets. 

“The Canadian government has pledged that it will do its fair share and that its targets will be science-based. Enabling and listening to a committee of nationally-recognized scientists on what that means will be critical to ensuring that commitment is met,” said Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel, who attended the Paris climate talks. “One thing is clear: Canadian leadership on climate change will mean transitioning away from fossil fuels, and the infrastructure –like oil pipelines and tankers – that supports them, as quickly as possible.”



West Coast Environmental Law Association
Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel: 250-412-9784
Jessica Clogg, Executive Director & Senior Counsel: 604-601-2501