Our focus is on stopping the most climate-polluting projects while supporting forests and other natural defenses against a changing climate.

There’s one thing that all of us on this planet require: a healthy and stable climate. Nothing works without it. 

From fighting to stop some of the most polluting fuels on earth, to protecting communities and our environment from the health risks posed by them, we’re on the case.

In the US, we have focused on stopping the oil industry’s efforts to transport oil on trains. Between 2008 and 2015, new oil train infrastructure allowed oil train traffic to expand by a whopping 4,100%. The oil being transported is carried in tank cars that were not manufactured to handle such volatile and toxic materials, and along tracks that, by design, carry it through the hearts of our cities and towns, threatening the safety of the 25 million Americans that live in the Blast Zone (link) of these trains.

In 2016, we had three significant successes in our oil train campaign, stopping or delaying projects in Anacortes, Washington, and in Benicia and San Luis Obispo, California.

We’ve also convinced 21 major US corporations to move away from using carbon intensive fuel like tar sands. [link to commitments list.]

In Canada, we have prioritized stopping new pipelines from the tar sands, which compared to every other source of fuel on the planet, destroys more forests, produces more toxic tailings, and consumes more energy in order to produce each barrel of oil. Pipelines are all risk and no reward for our climate, our environment, and our communities. Pipeline spills decimate local economies, risk the health of our families and our loved ones, and threaten the wildlife and wild spaces that we cherish.

New pipelines lock our economies into outmoded energy systems of the past, which means more oil production and more global warming emissions. Canada’s west coast pipelines are designed to supply Pacific markets just when those markets are beginning to move away from fossil fuels.

That’s why we played a key role in stopping the Enbridge pipeline, which would have run through the Great Bear Rainforest, threatening communities and the environment all along the way.

Today, we are putting in our all to stop the highly controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, which is headed straight for Vancouver, BC. This pipeline puts the environment, economy, and way of life of British Columbians at risk. According to Kinder Morgan’s own website, it would increase the number of oil tankers in Vancouver’s sensitive Burrard Inlet by an astounding 700%. The pipeline being proposed in direct conflict with the wishes of the First Nations who call the land home, as well as over a dozen municipalities that are being burdened with the cost of managing the risk without gaining any reward.

We stand in solidarity with the First Nations who deny consent for these pipelines through their lands.

Forests are Earth’s natural buffer against climate change

Climate change is caused by having too much global warming pollution in our atmosphere. And one of the best natural defenses to that problem is forests, which pull carbon out of the atmosphere, turning it back into oxygen. North America’s Boreal forest, which we have been working to protect since 2000, is a powerful engine that protects our climate. The Boreal stores twice the carbon as its rainforest and temperate forest counterparts, AND offsets approximately 10 billion tonnes of carbon per year!

But this process can work in reverse as well. Wildfires, declining forest health, and forest destruction add carbon to the atmosphere instead of pulling it out. That’s why keeping our forests healthy is vital in the fight to stabilize our climate.      

>> Learn more about forests

Tar sands are the worst of the worst

Burning fossil fuels is the main driver of climate change. But some fossil fuels are worse than others. Creating energy from the tar sands is one of the most polluting ways to generate energy and has significant, lasting impacts on local communities and waters. That’s why we’ve led a huge effort to stop tar sands development. We’ve gone after this issue from both ends: We worked with the government of Alberta to develop the first ever voluntary carbon cap and tax by a leading oil producing province. And we’re fighting all new infrastructure like pipelines and  oil trains. We’ve also convinced 21 major US companies to move away from using carbon intensive fuel (link here to the full list below)

We’re standing in the way of oil trains and pipelines

Getting fossil fuels to consumers relies on a network of pipelines and, increasingly, railroads. All that transportation adds another risky layer to the process. Pipelines, oil tankers, and oil trains can leak and explode, a terrible risk to the health and well being of our communities and our environment. By stopping new pipelines and oil trains, we’re moving toward a cleaner, safer future for everyone.