Kjupuktuk, NS – The Offshore Alliance of Nova Scotia celebrated the protection of seven of eight parcels of ocean space that are, for the moment, safe from oil and gas exploration this week. But the coalition is concerned to see that one license, located 10-20 kilometers from Sable Island National Park and the Sable Gully Marine Protected Area, met the requirements of Canada’s Call for Bids process and is awaiting approval by federal and provincial ministers to allow oil and gas exploration.
“We are pleased to see so little interest in oil and gas but alarmed that any new oil and gas exploration and production is being promoted and considered for approval in Canada in light of recent climate catastrophes that have resulted in deaths, dislocations, and loss of homes. The solution to climate change is to stop extracting and burning more fossil fuels,” according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director of Sierra Club Canada Foundation.
The groups are calling on political leaders to keep their commitments to address the climate emergency with real action and reject oil and gas exploration. The Alliance has called for a moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling, a demand that is in alignment with global science and energy sector analysis. Several reports from the UN and others have shown that meeting safe climate targets means halting new fossil fuel development and that energy and economic needs can be met with clean energy sources. Canada’s Prime Minister was recently called on the carpet at the UN for being one of the worst climate spoilers because of his government’s plans to expand oil and gas.
“Oil exploration is a very dangerous activity: major spills and accidents are more likely because details of the geology and undersea landscape are not yet known,” according to John Davis, founder of the Clean Ocean Action Coalition. “Members of our alliance have been displaced by climate fires over the summer. Nova Scotians, including children, have lost their lives in flash floods. Placing oceans, protected areas, and coastal communities that are already being hammered by climate impacts at further risk is simply unacceptable.”
“At a time when more and more people are struggling to afford the basics of life and keep their communities safe from climate damage, it is both reprehensible and dangerous for the government to be going through with this Call for Bids process and expending funds and resources to encourage and evaluate new oil and gas exploration. It’s time for all levels of government to address the crises with clear and decisive action,” according to Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer with the Council of Canadians.
For interviews please contact:
Angela Giles, Council of Canadians
Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director, Sierra Club Canada