Stopping Offshore Oil & Gas Exploitation
We advocate strongly for stopping oil and gas development in Nova Scotia. Recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency make it clear that we cannot afford new fossil fuel projects if we are to keep global warming to < 1.5 °C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. There has been no offshore oil and gas production in Nova Scotia since 2018, and four consecutive calls for bids for exploration leases by the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board have gone unanswered. Along with the Council of Canadians and Sierra Club Canada Foundation, we recently commissioned polling that reveals strong majority support from Atlantic Canadians for moving away from fossil fuels and securing a just transition for workers. We work with organizations, community groups, the fishing sector, and other ocean users across Atlantic Canada to move this transition forward as quickly and efficiently as possible, while also working to ensure that no one gets left behind.
In 2022, with our partners in the Offshore Alliance, we celebrated the announcement of an extension of the moratorium on oil and gas exploration on Georges Bank, an important and abundant fishing ground. We are a founding member of the Offshore Alliance, which is a coalition of environmental, grassroots and fishing organizations with a stake in protecting Nova Scotia’s offshore environment. Collectively, we take action to bring about a moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling in the province.
Together with World Wildlife Fund Canada and Sierra Club Canada Foundation, and represented by Ecojustice, we are taking the Canadian government to court over their deeply flawed and precedent-setting regional impact assessment for oil and gas exploration east of Newfoundland and Labrador. This assessment was the first of its kind under Canada’s Impact Assessment Act and, if allowed to stand, would set a troublingly low bar for future assessments of this sort across the country. We are challenging the assessment because it did not recommend continued drilling of protected and sensitive ecosystems, failed to adequately consider long-term cumulative effects, and did not adequately account for the impact of further fossil fuel development on climate change.