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Teck withdrawal signals need for clear plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

Photo by Pembina Institute, via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

press release

Teck withdrawal signals need for clear plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

February 24, 2020

CALGARY – Teck Resources Ltd.’s decision to withdraw its plans to build a massive oil sands mine in northeast Alberta points to the need for a comprehensive plan to tackle the climate crisis, Ecojustice lawyer Barry Robinson said today.

Teck Resources Ltd. withdrew its Frontier Project proposal on Feb. 23, citing changing markets and the need for clarity on how Canada and Alberta will address resource development, climate change and Indigenous rights.

Barry Robinson, a lawyer at Ecojustice, issued the following statement in response to the company’s decision.

“Ecojustice welcomes the decision to withdraw plans for the Teck Frontier Oil Sands Mine, a project that, at peak production, would have generated up to 4,000,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and caused the irreversible loss of 14,000 hectares of wetlands.

“The conversation around this project and the decision to shelve it highlight fundamental questions around how Canada and Alberta plan to address the climate crisis.

“In the federal election last fall, more than 60 per cent of voters cast ballots in support of parties that put forward strong platforms to confront the climate emergency. And, in response to Teck Resources Ltd.’s decision, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson and Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan reiterated Canada’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

“However, it remains unclear how Canada will get there.

“What is obvious is that the federal government cannot combat the climate crisis alone. The province of Alberta also has a key role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while diversifying its economy and laying a sustainable path forward for Albertans.

“As Teck’s decision shows, the lack of certainty around how Alberta and Canada will combat climate change is bad for Canadians and corporations alike.

“As we look ahead, Ecojustice urges governments at all levels to cooperate with one another and give Canadians a clear picture of how they will shift away from fossil fuel dependence, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Ecojustice lawyers represented the Pembina Institute and the Fort McMurray Environmental Association during a Joint Panel Review hearing on the Teck Frontier Oil Sands Mine in 2018.


Ecojustice goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, innovative public interest lawsuits lead to legal precedents that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.