Calling on Canada to ban thermal coal mining and exporting

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There’s a reason thermal coal is known as the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel: Burning it for energy generates half of the world’s carbon emissions, accelerates the climate crisis, wreaks havoc on the environment, and causes 800,000 premature deaths every year.

In fact, thermal coal is so harmful that the federal government has pledged to phase out domestic use by 2030 and — thanks to pressure from Ecojustice, our partners, and our community of supporters —recently announced a policy that effectively bans new mining projects in Canada. However, existing mines continue to operate, and Canadian and American mining companies export millions of tonnes of coal through Canadian ports annually.

If Canada wants to become a true global climate leader, we must account for our exported emissions — including those from exported thermal coal. Emissions from coal burned overseas hurt our shared climate. Once in the atmosphere, carbon emissions do not respect borders.

Ecojustice has worked tirelessly for years against thermal coal mines expansions. Now we are calling on the federal government to ban thermal coal mining and exporting from Canada once and for all.

The world is in the grips of a climate emergency, and thermal coal simply has no place in the climate-safe future we are all fighting for. If we are to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 – the minimum required to keep the planet livable – we cannot continue to mine and burn coal in Canada or abroad.

A complete ban on thermal coal mining and exports will strengthen Canada’s position as a global leader in efforts to power past coal, and protect Canadians and our communities for generations to come.

Key developments

Press release

STATEMENT: Feds sound death knell for thermal coal, Ecojustice reacts

Ecojustice welcomes the announcements made today by federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson that effectively s...

June 11, 2021

Press release

Ecojustice in court to fight Coalspur Mines’ attempt to expand Vista thermal coal mine without federal impact assessment


May 19, 2021

Press release

47 Canadian orgs call out coal ‘hypocrisy’ in open-letter urging assessment for Vista mine expansion

CALGARY - Forty-seven environmental, Indigenous, health, civil society and faith organizations from across Canada have come together to dema...

July 13, 2020

Press release

Vista coal mine decision highlights Canada’s climate hypocrisy: Ecojustice

CALGARY – The federal government’s decision to allow a massive thermal coal project to go ahead without an environmental assessment high...

December 20, 2019

Press release

Community groups, local residents in court to fight coal export project

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority demonstrated an apprehension of bias and lacked legal authority to approve coal project, groups say VANCO...

May 16, 2017

Press release

Community groups, local residents launch Federal Court challenge over coal transport

VANCOUVER — A Port Metro Vancouver-issued permit to build a coal transfer facility on the Fraser River must be quashed on grounds of proce...

September 19, 2014

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