Amnesty and others urge Canada to follow Biden’s lead and cancel TMX

Amnesty International is extremely concerned about human rights harms resulting from climate change and  we therefore urge governments and companies to cease investments that expand fossil fuel exploration and production, including the development of new infrastructure. Amnesty Canada has joined a coalition representing over 3.5 million Canadians calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline project because it conflicts with Canada’s climate policy goals. Amnesty further urges the Canadian government to ensure that the transition to a zero carbon economy is “just” and done in a way that reduces inequalities and protects the rights of workers and vulnerable communities.

To the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,
Cc: Federal Cabinet Ministers

On his first day in office, President Biden canceled Keystone XL (KXL) because, as the climate crisis intensifies, it is irresponsible to build new oil and gas pipelines. Canadians have consistently said and shown they want strong climate action. The federal government has responded to this by creating some bold new policy, like the carbon tax. However, the Canadian government continues to support the expansion of the oil sands, including by building the taxpayer-funded $12.6 billion and counting Trans Mountain pipeline project (TMX).

Canada must follow Biden’s lead on Keystone XL and cancel TMX because it directly conflicts with the federal government’s recently announced climate plan and it does not have permission or consent from affected Indigenous Nations.

Two separate federal government reports just released conclude that if Prime Minister Trudeau keeps his promises on climate action, neither the KXL or TMX pipelines will be needed and TMX will never make money for Canadians.

The world is a markedly different place than it was when the Trans Mountain pipeline was first proposed: different in terms of the growing climate emergency and the changing economic reality.

Energy giant BP forecasts that oil demand has peaked and will decline by 2050, while the International Energy Agency forecasts that oil demand will peak by 2030 and will have to decline by almost one-third by 2040 to meet Paris climate change objectives.

ExxonMobil just took the biggest writedown in modern history – $20 billion of oil assets including Imperial Oil. An opinion piece in the Financial Post was titled, “Imperial Oil’s massive write-off suggests the era of stranded Canadian assets is already here”.

Private companies are responding to declining oil demand by cutting investment. Teck recently canceled their $20 billion Frontier oil sands project and French energy giant Total has canceled future oil investment in Canada. Although they need to reduce much more their emissions in a manner consistent with the Paris Agreement, BP and Shell have started shifting some of their investments from oil to green energy.

Canada is the US’s largest foreign source of oil and gas and that’s not changing anytime soon. With our economies inextricably tied we must be aligned in our understanding of fossil fuel economics and climate action. We must act together.

As the Biden administration prepares to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate and unveil the most ambitious climate plan in America’s history, Canada will be left behind if it does not reconcile the contradiction it has systematically ignored since 2015: you can’t solve the climate crisis while expanding the oil sands by building new pipelines.

In 2019, you promised a Just Transition Act to help workers, but has barely mentioned it since. Instead of wasting time fighting for pipelines that deliver fewer jobs than green energy, it’s past time we got serious about having the backs of workers, families and communities through the move away from fossil fuels.

We, a collection of Indigenous leaders, economists, and health, environmental, faith, labour and social justice organizations, representing more than 3.5 million people across Canada, are asking the federal government, which has committed to bold climate action, to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline project.


Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC)
Indigenous Climate Action (ICA)
Wilderness Committee
Nature Québec
Climate action network Canada – Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-Rac)
BC Government and Service Employees’ Union
Georgia Strait Alliance
Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative
Pro Environment Pro Information United People Network
Climate Strike Canada
Shift: Action
Greenpeace Canada
International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC)
ENvironnement JEUnesse
Oil Change International
World BEYOND War
West Kootenay EcoSociety
Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion
The Global Sunrise Project
Our Lady of Sion
Environmental Defence
Green Majority Radio
BC SeaWolves
Council of Canadians
Glasswaters Foundation
Disability Justice Network of Ontario
Valhalla Wilderness Society
RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs)
ParkdaleHighPark4 climate action
Friends of the Earth Canada
My Sea to Sky
CAER- Coalition Alerte à l’Enfouissement Rivière-du-Nord
Mères au front (et ses 25 comités locaux)
Eau Secours
NON à une marée noire dans le Saint-Laurent
Green Majority Media
Prospérité Sans Pétrole
Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition
Contre GNL Québec à Saguenay
Amnesty International Canada
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
KAIROS BC-Yukon Region
Les Amis de la Chicot de Saint-Cuthbert
The Leap
Climate Justice Saskatoon
Contre GNL Québec à Saguenay
Sierra Club BC
Parksville Qualicum Kairos
Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion-BROKE
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
Ecology Action Centre
For Our Kids – Toronto
Environnement Vert Plus
Coalition étudiante pour un virage environnemental et social – CEVES
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Canot Kayak Québec
Council of Canadians, Saskatoon Chapter
Citizens for Public Justice
TBL Communications
Action Climat Outaouais (ACO)
Pétroliques anonymes
For Our Kids
Amnistie internationale Canada francophone
Coalition étudiante pour un virage environnemental et social – CEVES
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)
GASP (Grand(m)others Act to Save the Planet
Science Advocates/Défenseurs des Sciences – Canada
JustEarth: A Coalition for Environmental Justice
Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec (RVHQ)
For our kids northshore bc
La Planète s’invite au Parlement
Front commun pour la transition énergétique
Mouvement écocitoyen UNEplanète
Earthkeepers: Christians for Climate Justice
Climate Justice Montreal
The Climate Reality Projet Canada
La Planète s’invite en santé
Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses du Québec – FTQ
Action Environnement Basses-Laurentides
Climate Justice Victoria
Action Climat Outaouais (ACO)

Ujon Camp, Ponca Nation

Neeta Lind (Diné), Former Director of Community at Daily Kos 

Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Frontline Community Organizer with Indigenous Environmental Network