Shoulder to Shoulder in Atlantic Canada

New Brunswick Legislature at nightProtecting provincial parks from private developers, pushing back against the New Brunswick premier’s efforts to reverse the fracking moratorium, and challenging the NS government’s complicity in the poor environmental and safety practices at Canada’s only remaining underground coal mine—these are just a few of the many issues that the Atlantic Chapter is tackling.

Our Beyond Coal Atlantic campaign is countering the greenwashing put out by utility monopolies in the region and calling out their false “solutions” to transitioning away from fossils, which include new fracked gas plants, burning forest biomass for electricity, and courting investments to use our renewable energy resources to produce hydrogen for export rather than using wind and solar to get off fossil fuels here at home.

To help cut through the noise, we’ve been countering disinformation about fossil fuels and renewables alike. We hosted a popular webinar with Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson, a global leader in pathways to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

We followed this up with a thought-provoking national webinar on Community Energy and Energy Democracy, led by Sierra Club Atlantic’s Tynette Deveaux. This was a great community-building event with nearly 150 participants, many of whom shared their experiences, ideas, and concerns across the Atlantic provinces and beyond.

Working with local residents, journalists, a methane emissions expert, and a geologist, Sierra Club Atlantic has been at the forefront of the fight to permanently shut down Canada’s only underground coal mine—earning us the distinction of being labelled “one of coal’s most vocal critics.”

In February, we filed an appeal, calling on the province of Nova Scotia to overturn the approval of Canada’s only underground coal mine. Even though the Minister dismissed our appeal, it did help to raise awareness, network with our allies, and keep the Donkin mine in the news.

Not everyone wants to say goodbye to business as usual, though. The oil and gas industry is the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in Canada—and the industry’s lobbyists are doing everything they can to keep it that way. That’s why we’re advocating for a strong cap on greenhouse gas emissions. You can help by sending a quick letter.

We’ve been busy raising awareness, countering greenwashing, supporting our allies, and standing up to big polluters. But whether it’s webinars, Op-Eds, press releases, social media campaigns, community-building, newsletters, Explainers, or presentations to the Law Amendments Committee, we can’t do this work without your support.

If you live in Atlantic Canada and would like to get more involved, click on our volunteer link or send an email to

Become a Sierra Club Atlantic Canada member.

This article is part of our Summer 2023 newsletter, The Activist.