Canadian Nobel Laureate Testifies Keystone XL Pipeline Refusal an Important Step in Addressing Climate Change

Today Mark Jaccard tells Congress the US must reject Keystone XL pipeline and encourage minimal development in the Alberta oil sands if Obama is truly committed to preventing dangerous climate change.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Apr 10, 2013) - Dr. Mark Jaccard of British Columbia's Simon Fraser University will testify in front of the U.S. Congress Subcommittee on Energy and Power today that President Obama must reject TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline if meaningful action is to be taken to prevent a 2 degree Celsius increase in global temperature.

A rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will slow development in the Alberta oil sands, according to Jaccard, and better position the U.S. for a transition to a low-carbon economy. The oil sands, along with other polluting fossil fuels, are not a viable fuel source if a 2 degree temperature increase is to be avoided.

A rejection of Keystone "is an important step in addressing increasing carbon pollution in our atmosphere, but it must be combined with many such acts in North America and the rest of the world. Decisions about projects like Keystone XL are of little use unless they are leveraged to greater effect. In this case, the US government should note that it cannot support oil sands expansion while the Canadian government is not making the effort necessary to achieve its 2020 emission reduction target - a target that the US is on course to achieve."

"In the short to medium term, the denial of Keystone XL will help to slow development of the oil sands. As a growing source of carbon emissions, slowing the expansion of oil sands is an important step. But this act alone is not enough to stem the rapid rise of human carbon pollution. It must be combined with many such acts in North America and the rest of the world. And that's why the decision about Keystone XL must be made in consideration of a far broader, far more important question," says Jaccard.

"If we act to prevent dangerous climate change - to which President Obama says he is committed - there is definitely no need for new pipelines to the oil sands, and even existing ones may be in peril over the coming decades as production stagnates."

A full copy of Jaccard's testimony can be accessed here: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF03/20130410/100616/HHRG-113-IF03-Wstate-JaccardM-20130410.pdf

Professor Mark Jaccard has been a professor in the School of Resource and Environmental management at SFU since 1986. He has a PhD from the Energy Economics and Polity Institute at the University of Grenoble. Professor Jaccard has worked on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since the 1990s and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

For more information on Professor Jaccard visit his SFU page: http://www.rem.sfu.ca/people/faculty/jaccard/

His blog is Sustainability Suspicions: http://markjaccard.blogspot.ca

His twitter is @MarkJaccard