Sierra Club Canada’s Impact in 2023: A Very Productive Year

A special holidays newsletter on Sierra Club Canada impact in 2023.

How many of you have spent days distracted, scared, and unable to experience joy because of the climate destruction we see around us. How many of you have fled your homes because of wildfires. How much smoke did we watch those we care about inhale this summer.

Like you, I am angry. I am angry when I hear about another climate catastrophe destroying lives, livelihoods, and communities on the news. I am angry to see climate crimes being committed now that will cause destruction years into the future. I am angry that we have to fight a climate fight for future generations who have done nothing to deserve the devastation that threatens them.

The solution to despair is action. But I am willing to bet you are also haunted by the fear that we are only spinning our wheels in the mud.

So let’s talk results. Let’s look back at the victories Sierra Club Canada supporters like you Conor have won this year, the ground we have gained, and remember that we are stronger together. Join us by registering for a special Al Hands on Deck webinar on December 29th where we will look back on our work together and look forward to the future.

– Conor Curtis, Head of Communications, Sierra Club Canada

Our victories and impact together as Sierra Club Canada from 2023 include…

Emissions Cap Confirmation

The Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa at nightRight down to the last minute it was unclear if we would get an emissions cap framework during COP28 and if it would include any real regulations at all. Thanks to your calls, emails, and actions we got a framework for the emissions cap with preliminary targets. That’s a big step forward.

Get the facts about the cap and spread the word!

Over the holidays and into the new year you can help defend this progress by spreading the word about the emissions cap. This framework is not the final cap but it shows we are making progress. Next year we will continue to push for an even stronger emissions cap and continue to call out the oil and gas industry’s false solutions like carbon capture and storage.

Shelving Bay du Nord for up to Three Years

Picture of demonstrations against Equinor's Bay du Nord oil projectYour support, your actions, and your dedication to preventing a billion barrel oil project has played a key role in shelving Equinor’s Bay du Nord for up to three years. Youth in NL have also lead a serious shift in thinking away from oil and gas dependency.

More about Bay du Nord

Our fight against Bay du Nord continues and it’s fate could prevent billions more barrels of oil from damaging our climate as oil and gas advocates see Bay du Nord as the doorway to other, even larger, offshore oil projects.

We have also played a central leadership role in bringing together groups from Brazil, Argentina, the UK, and Norway to fight against Equinor’s climate-wrecking plans across the globe. To fight an international oil company we must unite internationally as well.

Preventing new oil and gas exploration near Sable Island

A Sable Island Horse near proposed offshore Nova Scotia oil explorationWith our allies we got the Federal and Nova Scotian governments to not approve an offshore oil and gas licence that would have been sandwiched between Sable Island and the Gully Marine Protected Area.

Read more about this win!

Halting Huge East Coast LNG Projects

Sierra Club Canada countered fossil fuel lobbyists, working with our allies and supporters like you. We told Canada’s leaders what Canadians actually thought on the issue of LNG and we executed a dynamic media campaign to push back against new LNG on the East Coast.

An LNG facility similar to those proposed for Atlantic CanadaRead more about this win!

Without government handouts, which is how too many fossil fuel projects get their start, Repsol gave up on LNG expansion plans in 2023. Repsol’s project was the most economically viable of several massive LNG projects proposed on the East Coast, making the others even less likely to succeed now thanks to your support.

That’s a lot of emissions we kept out of the atmosphere, but there’s more…

Doubling Kids’ Time Outside in Nature

Children taking part in Sierra Club Canada's Wild Child programsThis news is from 2022, a year older than the other items, but in 2023 we were able to calculate that our Wild Child programs in Edmonton, NS, and PEI doubled the amount of time spent outside by children from 30,000 hours in 2021 to 60,000 hours in 2022. Wild Child provides child led, play based learning helping to foster a lasting relationship with nature.

Indigenous Led Walks in Edmonton

Edmonton at SunsetOur Prairie Chapter hosted a series of walks through the nature areas of Edmonton sponsored by the Alberta Ecotrust. These were Indigenous led walks and participants took stops for conversations about the land and history. Stories and poems were also shared.

Winnipeg Wildflower and Plant Garden

For the second year in a row our Prairie Chapter planted a 600 square foot garden full of wildflowers and grasses native to Manitoba.

Volunteer at the Sierra Club Canada Prairie Chapter Wildflower Garden in WinnipegThese plants are critical for food sources for native pollinators. They also tend to have deeper root systems that promote carbon capture.

Then there are our other national efforts…

Support for Independent Media

Supporting Independent Journalism and Media in Canada. Picture of microphones at an interview.In the wake of the Meta ban on Canadian journalism we worked with independent media outlets to help rally the environmental movement to their cause and help them continue to reach the audiences that need their news most.

Find out more!

The Community Energy Showcase and a New Podcast

People installing solar panels, part of our support for independent journalism sectionSpeaking of independent media, we launched the Community Energy Showcase with The Energy Mix to bring supporters the latest climate news. We also launched a new podcast. Here are the most recent items from both:

A New Sierra Club Canada Website

Map of where Sierra Club Canada works from our new websiteIn 2023 Sierra Club Canada redesigned our website, to make it as accessible and environmentally friendly as possible. Working with Mangrove, the site is also easier to load in rural locations, which have less internet access, and where we often work.

Listen to our podcast about the new site

Sierra Club Canada in the News in 2023

Newspapers. From the section Environmental News and Journalism coverage of Sierra Club CanadaIn the last year we have been able to bring significant attention to environmental topics in the news, greatly contributing to the public dialog on environmental issues thanks to your support. Of over 86 journalistic or opinion pieces covering our work this year, here are just a few:

The Guardian (UK): ‘I came into politics so I could continue to be an activist’: Steven Guilbeault on oil, idealism and being branded a traitor by journalist Leyland Cecco.

Maclean’s: Bay du Nord: The $16-billion oil project that could make or break Newfoundland by journalist Lyndsie Bourgon.

Le Devoir: Ottawa rejette un nouveau projet d’exploration pétrolière en milieu marin by journalist Alexandre Shields.

Radio-Canada:  Bay du Nord : Equinor reporte le projet pétrolier by journalist Patrick Butler.

National Observer: EXCLUSIVE: Wilkinson pauses East Coast offshore oil exploration bid by journalist Cloe Logan.

CBC News: Climate change fuelling N.S. wildfires say ecologists, climate activists by journalist Josefa Cameron.

The Independent NL / Berrygrounds: The Foreseeable Fall of Fossil Fuels by journalist Justin Brake.

The Energy Mix: ‘Really Wise Decision’ as Ottawa, Nova Scotia Turn Down Offshore Oil Proposal by The Canadian Press.

Stavanger Aftenblad (Norway): You own Equinor, we’re trying to stop them, let’s have a chat! by members of the Equinor Out international campaign.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and our chapters have also had many other wins locally.

Next year we will continue our work to fight for the Rights of Mother Earth, as part of a global effort to have nature’s rights legally recognized. We are encouraged by recent news that Ireland could well become the first EU country to enshrine the Rights of Nature into their national constitution.

We will continue to work with our international, national, and local partners to make change happen.

With your support there is much more to come!

P.S. If you’d like to make an end of year gift to support this work there’s still time.