Media Statement on Reported Bay du Nord Approval


April 6, 2022

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation says by approving the Bay du Nord oil project today, the federal government showed it will not act to protect our environment and our federal government has abandoned our responsibility to be climate leaders. There is no such thing as green oil and the IPCC has confirmed that no further expanded production of fossil fuels in green. This project is not necessary for the economy of NL or global energy security

They call upon all leaders to oppose this government’s climate inaction and say we can have no confidence in their climate promises. Failing to oppose the expansion of oil and gas extraction would be complicity in climate denial.

“This decision is a cowardly abdication of the need to confront climate change. The IPCC report released this week was clear that no new oil and gas extraction can be allowed  if we are to maintain a livable planet. Bay du Nord also places whales, deep sea corals and other ocean life at risk from spills, noise, and vessel traffic. We cannot allow this approval to stand and will be working tirelessly to ensure the project does not proceed.” states Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation

“Newfoundland and Labrador has experienced waves of economic instability at the hands of fossil fuel companies for decades,” state local NL organizer with the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Heather Elliott. “This was a chance to move us in the direction of a stable future. Instead, it’s our communities that will be impacted by deepwater spills, precarious employment, and that will shoulder the financial burden when these assets are stranded. This is an albatross tied around Newfoundland and Labrador’s neck.”  

“Equinor could do the right thing here, they could show they really care about the climate, withdraw from the Bay du Nord project, and instead propose an offshore wind project for Newfoundland and Labrador,” states Conor Curtis, Digital Communications Coordinator with the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. “We are glad that due to public pressure NL’s government has finally ended a 15 year ban on building wind energy off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador this week. This would be a timely and ethical decision for Equinor to make. Personally, to see youth confront the Environment Minister on this and then to see their futures endangered by this project is an act of extreme climate hypocrisy.”

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation says that the measures announced for a just transition are nothing more than a smokescreen and will not offset in any way the massive negative climate impacts that will be caused by Bay du Nord.

They say the government is attempting to greenwash Bay du Nord by announcing that maybe they will build a few wind turbines. They add that by approving Bay du Nord the government is actively committing an act of climate denial and climate crime against future generations.

Regarding the future of the Bay du Nord project the Sierra Club Canada Foundation says it would be an extreme struggle for this project to go ahead. They say momentum is building against Bay du Nord, nobody is fooled by the greenwashing, and they have been really happy to see the response from people in NL against this project and the momentum building there. Youth have been leading this fight, they add, because it's their future they are protecting and they are dedicated to protecting it. The Sierra Club Canada Foundation says this is just the beginning.

- 30 -

For local commentary and interviews on this subject and national commentary, please contact Heather Elliott in St. John’s, local NL campaigner with the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Conor Curtis, and Gretchen Fitzgerald: