Ottawa, Ont. – President Joe Biden’s first move in office sends a clear signal that Canada needs to get serious about phasing out fossil fuels, ramping up action on climate change, and implementing a transition plan for workers and communities. Cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clear indication that climate action is a priority for the White House. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Along with rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden is expected to undertake a number of climate initiatives. That includes more ambitious fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, stronger methane rules for oil and gas operations, and massive spending to undertake a green recovery that prioritizes social and environmental justice.
We should take heed when the biggest customer for Canada’s oil kills a pipeline that is already under construction. The Keystone XL pipeline never made sense for either the U.S. or Canada. The Canada Energy Regulator’s latest report clearly showed that no new export pipelines were needed if our governments took action on climate change. Instead of backing oil pipelines, the Canadian and Alberta governments should instead phase out all fossil fuels over the next 20 years and develop a plan to assist workers and communities in that transition.
Recent research commissioned by Environmental Defence shows why that planned transition is both needed and manageable.
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