Climate Change

Our changing climate poses a severe threat to both human wellbeing and that of the many animals, plants and insects that inhabit our planet. The Sierra Club Canada Foundation works on both the national and the local level to reduce greenhouse gasses and to promote sustainable energy practices.

Beyond Coal Atlantic

The Beyond Coal Atlantic project launched in December 2020 with an ambitious goal: to get Atlantic Canada off coal and biomass energy as quickly as possible and transition to clean renewable energy. Many of the solutions already exist—such as wind, solar, and existing hydro from Quebec—but what’s been lacking is political and corporate will. 

Sierra Club Canada Foundation joins Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign

Sierra Club Canada Foundation's Ontario Chapter has joined a coalition of over 125 groups across Ontario in calling upon candidates in the upcoming provincial election to treat climate change as an emergency.

This election is critical for Ontario and for Canada. Now more than ever, we need strong action and leadership on climate change. 

The Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign encourages diverse groups from every sector to urgently work together towards our shared climate action goals.

Field Notes from a Citizen Scientist

I live a few hundred metres from the Queensway in Ottawa, and have long wondered about the air quality in the neighbourhood. Is my proximity to the highway and a major feeder road bad for my health? Ottawa is quite green, but is the air quality okay? After reading about the Breathe Easy campaign in an Ottawa Citizen article, I put my hand up to get involved. After a quick tutorial by the friendly local coordinator, Jake Cole, I set out to take some readings, and made a few observations along the way:

Decade of Change 2020 - 2030

It was in 2013, eight years ago when the carbon monitoring station in Mauna Loa measured levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at levels above 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. Since then, investigations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ascertain that we cannot let the atmosphere reach 430 parts per million of carbon dioxide to avoid global warming beyond 1.5 degrees, at which point there will be far reaching consequences for life on earth.

Open Letter: Stop Gull Island

October 13, 2021

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Premiers of Atlantic Canada, and Elected Leaders, 

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals are calling on you as elected leaders to oppose the construction of the Gull Island mega-hydro project (Phase 2 of Nalcor’s Lower Churchill Project) and to protect the Grand River/Mistashipu (colonially known as Churchill River) in Labrador and other endangered rivers across the country.

Ontario Forest Under Attack

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

One of the most important environmental battles now going on in Ontario is a debate in the council chambers of Chatham-Kent to decide if the municipality is to have a tree cutting by-law. A temporary by-law has been imposed, but it is scheduled to be lifted on December 14, 2021.

Un article de Gérard Montpetit sur les stratégies juridiques des compagnies pétrolières

Un article percutant sur les stratégies des pétrolières afin de promouvoir leurs intérêts au détriment de l’acceptabilité sociale, de la santé et du bien commun des citoyens.

L’auteur, Monsieur Montpetit, membre du CCCPEM (Comité des citoyens et citoyennes pour la protection de l’environnement maskoutain), nous dévoile les procédés déconcertants de ces compagnies gazières et pétrolières, qui n’hésitent pas à utiliser de manière abusive les tribunaux afin de réduire les opposants au silence.

An article by Gérard Montpetit on the legal strategies of oil companies

A powerful article on the strategies of oil companies to promote their interests at the expense of social acceptability, health and citizens' common good.

The author, Mr. Montpetit, a member of the CCCPEM (Comité des citoyens et citoyennes pour la protection de l'environnement maskoutain), reveals the disconcerting procedures of these oil and gas companies, which do not hesitate to use the courts in an abusive manner in order to silence opponents.

Canada's Prairie Pothole Region

The Canadian Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) encompasses 467,000km² of wetland and grassland area stretching from Alberta’s Rocky Mountain foothills to Manitoba’s Red River Valley. The appearance of these ‘pothole’ structured wetlands, were formed by the movement of glaciers across North America, where the ice melted into the pools that are now the potholes wetlands we have today. The formation of the pothole region took tens of thousands of years during the Wisconsin glaciation period.

Trouble in the Atlantic Bubble

One of the many things the pandemic has shown us is just how interconnected we are with people, not only in this region, but around the globe. A virus can easily spread from one hemisphere to another in a matter of hours. The consequences, as we know, can be tragic. What’s less publicized is just how interconnected we are when it comes to the environment. Slowly, people are waking up to the reality of climate change, the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and the extinction of many species.

5 Myths That Delay Climate Action in Nova Scotia (and other places too!)

Q Have you ever found yourself saying to someone, "Hey, we should really get going on renewable energy in our province."

And they respond with "We don't get enough sun for solar" or "We burn trees for biomass to generate electricity and they grow back eventually..." 

Well, enough with the guesswork and misinformation! Let's nip those myths in the bud (pun intented).

Get the Facts on Small Modular NUCLEAR Reactors

Are you confused about whether or not nuclear energy is a good way to get us off fossil fuels and help put the brakes on climate change? If you are, you’re certainly not alone. The nuclear energy industry has been lobbying hard to convince governments to invest in new and untested designs for smaller nuclear reactors, known as SMRs—claiming they’re good for the environment and for tackling climate change.

All Hands on Deck Webinar - How's the Air You're Breathing?

How's the air we breathe today? Most of us would likely answer that question with "It seems fine", assuming that air quality is not something to worry about. You might be right. However, depending on where you live, work and play, every day you may be breathing unhealthy air - air that is potentially dangerous to your health and those around you.

Consider these facts, backed up by credible sources:
1. In Canada, about 14,600 die from dirty air quality every year.
2. Worldwide, only about 5% of us are breathing truly healthy air.
3. Living near a busy intersection can increase the risk of contracting dementia later in life.
4. Air pollution can cause a measurable decrease in IQ for children and a measurable loss in lung function.
5. Across the world, dirty air causes some seven million early deaths annually

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation has a project underway to measure and report on the outdoor air quality (AQ) in the city. While the official, government-operated AQ station in Ottawa reports levels generally in the "Low Risk" category, our preliminary air tracking results are finding areas, or air pollution 'hotspots', where the AQ can be quite dangerous. In this webinar, we will be showing what we've measured so far, what impact this may be having on our health, and we'll talk about possible actions we can take, as individuals and collectively at a city-wise basis, to improve the air we are breathing every day.

The speaker, Jake Cole, is retired from a career in six departments in our federal government. Amongst other roles, he was former Environment Director, Canadian Coast Guard; National Manager, Canada's R-2000 Home Program; Canada's representative for renewable energy projects with the International Energy Agency. He ran a well-received employee health and wellness program for one of Canada's largest federal departments. He co-chaired the national charity, Prevent Cancer Now. He has run for the federal Green Party twice (coming third in his riding in 2008 with one of the highest percentage of Green Party voters in Canada). He is currently with the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, leading a team of volunteer 'Citizen Scientists' on a project to measure and report on air quality in the Ottawa region.