Canadian Views on Climate Policy, the Emissions Cap, and Commentators in the News

An article on coverage and commentary of Canadian climate and emissions cap views by Conor Curtis, Head of Communications, Sierra Club Canada.

Graphic of a panel of commentators over an image of emissions and forest fires from the page Canadian Emissions Cap Views.Every time I turn on the news these days I hear some commentator repeat the tired line that Canadians just don’t care about the climate. At least not in the context of our hard economic times.

Most of those repeating this line are only repeating it because it’s the fashionable thing to say and they want to sound ‘practical-like,’ even if there’s nothing realistic or practical about it. But for fossil fuel industry lobbyists and PR people repeating a message that Canadians have ‘forgotten about the climate’ is purposeful, and more valuable than oil. It is by making us think that we are alone in caring that they hope we will be silent and give up.

In 2023 we achieved some amazing things together including a three year delay of the Bay du Nord oil project and a halt to massive east coast LNG facilities. We managed to get an emissions cap framework with preliminary targets – ones we need to make stronger – but targets that would not even exist at all without your support.

Get the facts on the emissions cap via our facts sheet.

As I looked back on 2023 I remembered something that unites all of these victories: At some point someone said they couldn’t be achieved, that there just wasn’t enough support for climate action. From the initial approval of Bay du Nord in 2022 by the Canadian government, to the oil and gas industry’s misinformation about Canadian support for LNG, each time someone declared we had lost (often the oil and gas industry themselves).

In order to keep going we had to challenge our own conceptions of what was possible. Because the fossil fuel industry’s greatest weapon is not money, but the ability to make us feel helpless and alone.

Time and time again we have seen that when we stand together we can make a difference and time and time again we have learned that our neighbors and friends actually do care very much about the environment even when times are hard.

A majority of Albertans support the emissions cap and 7 out of 10 Canadians support the cap.

This doesn’t mean we can win every challenge we face at once but it does mean that in 2024 we need to maintain and follow through on our work to challenge the nature of the possible and to keep going.

With your support this year we can protect these gains and make new ones.