For Immediate Release

For further inquires please contact Stephen Kretzmann, +1-202-497-1033

“Sun is Setting” on Tar Sands

(Washington D.C.) The Alberta tar sands have become the posterchild of the high carbon future we cannot afford. Over recent years, unprecedented public concern has grown and now stands in the way of all major pipeline proposals and international pressure is growing on Canada to do its fair share regarding climate.  In Alberta, along pipeline routes, and next door to refineries, front line communities and First Nations are rightfully refusing to continue living with the impacts of tar sands production. Today’s landmark policy announcement in Alberta is happening because Canadians are demanding climate action and have elected Federal and Provincial governments with a mandate to turn Canada into a climate leader again.

In response to the Government of Alberta’s climate change announcement today, Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International said:

“The sun is setting on the tar sands industry. It is now possible to see a new day for Alberta where high cost, high carbon, high risk tar sands are phased out in favor of clean, safe, and renewable energy. The idea that tar sands growth is inevitable has left the building.  Good riddance.

A 100Mt emissions cap on the sector is part of a promising first step towards the zero-carbon world we need by the middle of the century. Much more will need to be done in the coming decade to keep up with what science and equity demand in order for Alberta and Canada to do their fair share on climate change. But slowing – and stopping – the growth in the tar sands must be the first step.

Keystone XL was the first oil project ever stopped because of its climate impacts and this is just the beginning. We will continue to work together with our allies on the front lines and across the continent to make sure that no new pipelines are built, and no new projects are started. That is what climate science, and our movement, demands”

Hannah McKinnon, Senior Campaigner with Oil Change International added:

“Holding Big Oil and governments accountable to these commitments is going to be critical in coming years. We cannot afford new growth in the tar sands: no new pipelines, and no new projects that would lock us into more climate damage and make it ever harder to take the next steps towards decarbonisation. Big Oil will look for loopholes, manipulate rules, and even outright fail to comply as they have for decades in the sector – and civil society and the public will be key to ensuring that they don’t get away with it.“

It will also be imperative that the Alberta government’s commitment to uphold and affirm First Nation rights must be reflected in any and all climate change policy. This must be achieved through direct partnerships and allocation of resources to ensure meaningful and adequate participation from First Nation and Metis communities on this and any future policies.

Oil Change International looks forward to examining the climate package in more detail and understanding more precisely the implications. However, the signal is clear — to investors, to industry, and to the world: there is no future in the tar sands.


Oil Change International is a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy. The production and consumption of oil, gas, and coal are major sources of global warming, human rights abuses, war, national security concerns, corporate globalization, and increased inequality. For more information on Oil Change International, see