Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Sierra Club Canada Foundation empowers people to be leaders in protecting, restoring and enjoying healthy and safe ecosystems. For more than four decades, Sierra Club Canada Foundation has been securing victories and maintaining ground for the species and spaces that sustain our fragile natural world. At its heart, Sierra Club Canada Foundation is a grassroots organization with a “think globally, act locally” philosophy. Members are encouraged to actively contribute to environmental causes that engage or inspire them, in a capacity that best suits their capabilities. Working with a strong volunteer base and collaboratively with other organizations has allowed Sierra Club Canada Foundation to successfully engage in a range of environmental activities that directly benefit both people and the planet.
Started 3 petitions
Plastic is Everywhere. Let's Fix It.
You did it! Last week, the Canadian government moved to ban six types of single use plastic: checkout bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery, and food ware made from hard-to-recycle plastics. No question, this is big. Even five years ago, I'd say this kind of policy leap was out of reach. And you made it happen by showing you were fed up with plastic pollution and that you were willing to take action in your personal choices and in your communities through initiatives such as the Ontario Chapter’s Plastic Free July Challenge. Thank you and congratulations! But much more needs to be done to make plastic pollution history - especially because we know that the fossil fuel and chemical industries have woken up to how effective you have been at pushing for action. Research papers shared at our Conservation Committee last week show how dire the problem with plastics is. One of these, a paper published in the journal Science, shows that we need to increase the ambition of existing efforts and set limits on plastic production to truly tackle the plastic waste problem. In essence, the researchers conclude that, “[i]ncreased waste management capacity alone cannot keep pace with projected growth in plastic waste generation.” So, even as we celebrate, we need to double down even further to truly tackle plastic pollution and get to zero plastic being released into the environment. Please write today to thank Minister Wilkinson and the Canadian government for taking a stand on plastics, and to show you stand with them to support even further actions needed to confront plastic pollution. Thank you, Gretchen Fitzgerald - National Programs Director  Borrelle et al. 2020. Predicted growth in plastic waste exceeds efforts to mitigate plastic pollution.Science. 369 (6510), 1515-1518. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6510/1515.full
New Nuclear is NOT Part of the Path to Net Zero.
No plan that gets us to net zero in a reasonable time frame includes new nuclear reactors. Nuclear is far too slow and expensive to deal with the climate emergency. Just like fossil fuel energy, nuclear produces wastes that pose unacceptable health hazards and economic costs. Radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants have been piling up for over 70 years. Canada still has no long-term strategy to deal with either nuclear or fossil fuel wastes. Building Canada back better means major investments in conservation and renewable energy, providing hundreds of thousands of good green jobs. Global investment in renewable energy and newly-installed renewable capacity has far surpassed nuclear in recent years. Investors are smart: they put their money where it will yield good returns. In 2015, the Harper Government handed over operation of Canada's federally-owned nuclear labs to an American-led multinational consortium, currently composed of two Texas-based companies (Fluor and Jacobs) and SNC-Lavalin. The U.S. military-industrial complex is driving the push for new nuclear, hoping Canadian taxpayers will subsidize risky, expensive and largely untried “small modular” reactor designs, including plutonium-fuelled reactors. In a CBC interview aired on September 19th, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said, “We have not seen a model where we can get to net-zero emissions by 2050 without nuclear.” O’Regan also claimed that net zero “needs oil and gas.” There seems to be some confusion about time frames here. Transportation and home heating across Canada are heavily reliant on oil and gas. Electricity production in two provinces – Ontario and New Brunswick – is heavily reliant on large nuclear reactors. But implying that this can or should be the status quo until 2050 defies logic. The 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. New nuclear reactors cannot be part of a rapid transition. The 2019 World Nuclear Industry Status Report says the average construction time of 63 reactors started since 2009 (37 in China) was 9.8 years. Small modular reactors (SMRs) have been long delayed. NuScale - the leading U.S. design - was supposed to generate power in 2015-16, but latest estimates are that it will be 2029-30 at the earliest. O’Regan also said: "There are models that we're looking at that would reduce the amount of nuclear waste. There are other models that would recycle nuclear waste.” Whatever the models predict, the inescapable fact is that all nuclear reactors produce radioactive waste. “Reducing” or “recycling” radioactive waste only creates more radioactive waste, passing the buck to future generations. Worse still, some SMR wastes would be difficult to deal with. SMR designs that use recycled fuel require extraction of plutonium, creating serious national security risks associated with nuclear weapons proliferation. The only way to deal with wastes from fossil fuels and nuclear is to phase out these technologies. Canada is dragging its feet on creating a realistic climate plan. We already provide more fossil fuel subsidies per capita than any other G-20 nation. Let’s not compound this by subsidizing the pipe dream of new nuclear technologies. If you agree that new nuclear is not part of the path to net zero, please sign your letter Minster O’Regan. Call upon the federal government to minimize the generation of radioactive waste and to cease all support and taxpayer funding for small modular nuclear reactors. . . . . . If you wish to support our work with a donation, please do so here.
Tell Canadian Ministers RIGHT WHALES Need URGENT Protection!
The clock is ticking. We have very little time left to comment on the draft Action Plan for the recovery of the North Atlantic Right whale, a document that outlines and prioritizes actions the federal government will take to protect this species. Without strong commitments, the North Atlantic right whale is on track to extinction. With only around 400 individuals left, every single whale is vital to the continued survival of this species. Since 2017, scientists estimate we have lost 41 right whales – a staggering 10 percent of the population. We know remaining female right whales are not having young at the rates they used to, making recovery efforts even more crucial. Of the only ten calves born this season, two of these nursing infants were mortally wounded by propeller and ship strikes. People from around the world have stepped up and called for Canada to ensure the survival of these beloved whales. We had high hopes that this Action Plan would show the Canadian government’s commitment for the survival of the right whale. It doesn’t. The Action Plan lacks a clear commitment that the Government will take action to prevent all human-caused deaths of right whales - a commitment needed to ensure the recovery of the species. It also fails to confront gaping holes in how the oil and gas industry is assessed and regulated in Atlantic Canada - leaving whales vulnerable to seismic blasting and the threat of oil spills in their habitat. We cannot wait for the last right whale to make its final lonely call for our leaders to wake up – because then it will truly be too late. Call on the federal Ministers of Environment and Climate Change, Fisheries and Oceans and Transport to step up. We have seen that strong action will be taken if people like you speak out. Thank you! P.S.: Your donation today, whether small or large, can really make the difference in helping to save the last 400 right whales and their calves. Sierra Club Canada Foundation is currently entering into another legal challenge to help protect them. Your donation will help keep us fighting in the courts. Please donate today and we will send you our exclusive whale tail pendant, designed especially for Sierra Club supporters.