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Ambitious climate targets not compatible with new pipelines

OTTAWA – The Council of Canadians is encouraged by strengthened climate targets proposed at the Paris climate talks, but doesn’t see how Canada can achieve them with the Energy East and Trans Mountain pipelines still on the table.

“If we are serious about achieving a 1.5 degree target, then we cannot approve new tar sands pipelines like TransCanada’s Energy East or Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “The Energy East pipeline alone could lead to a 40 per cent increase in tar sands production, which we will be locked into for 40 years. Ambitious targets require ambitious actions. This means freezing tar sands expansion and planning for a transition towards a fossil-free economy by 2050.”

“We welcome Minister McKenna’s revised goal,” adds Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “But goals without actions to back them up are just more hot air – I think Canadians have run out of patience for that. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that energy acquired from tar sands, fracking, and offshore drilling is devastating to the environment. We expect that the Canadian government will move forward with meaningful changes to current energy policies. Anything less is incompatible with the government’s stated goal of a 1.5 degree target.”