Environmental Defence report shows the breadth of international opposition to oil and gas development, refuting the claim that Canada and Alberta are unfairly targeted

Ottawa, Ont. – New research shows that, contrary to accusations about Canada and Alberta being unfairly targeted by environmentalists, Canadian environmental groups actually receive a relatively small share of global philanthropic dollars that support anti-fossil fuel campaigns, compared to the size of Canada’s oil and gas sector.

Nevertheless, fossil fuel and pipeline companies operating in Canada should expect citizen opposition to their expansion plans to ramp up as restrictions against public mobilizations are eased. That’s one of the conclusions from a new report, Not Just a Canadian Phenomenon: Citizen Opposition to Oil and Gas Production Around The World, released today by Environmental Defence. The report documents the blockades, moratoriums, lawsuits, and divestment campaigns from around the world that have intensified over recent years, as citizens increasingly make the link between fossil fuel production and the climate crisis.

“In every corner of the world, citizens are using a myriad of creative and effective ways to stop fossil fuel development,” said Dale Marshall, National Climate Program Manager, Environmental Defence. “While the more visible anti-oil demonstrations have diminished due to COVID-19, oil and gas companies operating in Canada, and around the world, should expect opposition to fossil fuels to only increase going forward.”

The report shows that Canada is far from unique in facing widespread opposition to more oil and gas projects, pipelines, and fracking. From Norway to Colombia, from India to Australia, local citizens are standing up to increased fossil fuel production. In fact, peer-reviewed research shows that the best way to tackle climate change is to stop pollution at the source by keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

“Some governments in Canada are even using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to roll back environmental regulations and jam through fossil fuel projects that face serious opposition,” added Dale Marshall. “They know that these projects have no social license, and the citizens opposing these projects know it too.”

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, abraude@environmentaldefence.ca