Tarsands reality check

A new report by Canadian environmental protection advocacy group Environmental Defence says the federal government must take drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Alberta oilsands if Canada has any hope of tackling climate change.

The organization’s “Reality Check” report on the tarsands cites the autonomous International Energy Agency’s claim that the world must leave two-thirds of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change. Meanwhile Environmental Defence says oilsands mining projects are Canada’s fastest growing source of GHGs and the government is allowing the industry’s rapid expansion “based on a misguided assumption that the world won’t take climate change seriously.”

The report calls on the federal government to establish a carbon tax and write strict regulations that require energy operations in the tarsands to substantially reduce emissions. Otherwise it warns Canada will be left behind as other nations embrace renewable energy.