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Teck withdrawal of Frontier creates space for climate cooperation

VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement regarding Teck Resources’ decision to withdraw the Frontier oilsands mine application from the federal environmental assessment process:

“It’s clear that Canada can’t keep kicking the can down the road—our political and business leaders must address whether or how the development of fossil fuel resources can continue in the face of the imperative to cut carbon pollution.

“The federal government has made clear that its focus is on cutting carbon pollution, beating Canada’s 2030 climate change target, and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. These goals are consistent with other leading countries and businesses, and reflect the increasing pace of the energy transition, shifting markets and investor preferences.

“Canada has a unique opportunity to harness our capacity for innovation and an abundance of resources beyond fossil fuels that will allow Canada to play a leading role in delivering clean energy and climate solutions. But longing for the past is no way to prepare for this future.

“Teck Resources should be thanked for their leadership in acknowledging that sorting out how we tackle climate change and what that means for oilsands development shouldn’t be tied to a specific project or regulatory deadline.

Climate action and a responsible energy transition is where Canadians expect our political and business leaders to cooperate and find common ground. The federal government and Teck Resources are both occupying this ground now, and it’s time for other business and political leaders to join them.”


  • Three-quarters (75%) of Canadians say the transition to clean energy is a global trend and beneficial for Canada in the long-term, while 71% say it is certain or likely to happen, including 63% in Alberta. Even among Albertans, 54% say it will benefit Canada and half (49%) say it will benefit Alberta.
  • Canadians generally (68%) prefer to see Ottawa offer help for Alberta’s workers to build new areas of economic opportunity, compared to 32% who would rather see Ottawa do more to protect and grow Alberta’s oil sector. In Alberta, opinion is evenly split.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of Canadian voters want the new Liberal government to either “enact the climate change policies they campaigned on” (37%) or to “enact stronger climate change policies than they campaigned on—to do more at a faster pace on this issue” (30%).
  • The desire for stronger action is popular across party lines. Even one-third (33%) of Liberal voters want stronger climate policies than what was in the party’s platform, and majorities of Bloc (51%), Green (64%) or NDP (49%) voters share this sentiment.
  • 78% of Canadians say they support large-scale job programs in clean energy.


Op-ed | The Frontier decision is symbolic, but not in the way you’ve been led to believe

Poll | Energy transition a widely accepted concept; Canadians want governments to work on it, not against it

Exit poll | Climate Change in the 2019 Canadian Federal Election

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