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Oil from the tar sands is among the world's most controversial energy sources. Independent studies have shown that the oil from oil sands is 30% more destructive to the climate than other forms of oil. Recent data from the Government of Canada showed many mines are under-reporting their emissions by as much as a third, which makes the climate impacts even worse.

The oil from the tar sands is the dirtiest form

of oil on earth.

During a time when we need to drop emissions it makes no sense to keep extracting this dirtiest and most energy intensive form of fossil fuel. A major report published in Nature said extracting the oil from the tar sands would use up almost1/3 of the planet's remaining carbon budget to keep the world below 2 degrees Celcius. Continuing to expand the tar sands every year - the current plans from industry and government - means “game over” for our shared climate.

The Tar Sands Healing Walk
Video from Idle No More  

The tar or oil sands in Northern Alberta are the third largest reserves of fossil fuels on Earth. Tar sands oil is fused within underground soil deposits, making its extraction either extremely destructive by digging through kilometers of boreal forest, or energy-intensive by separating the oil from the soil using steam injected underground. 

The high intensity of oil sands extraction, refining, and transport make this the dirtiest form of oil on earth. 

BlackRock’s ownership position :

Major extractors: 





BlackRock is the largest or second largest investor in 3 of the top 6 oil companies operating in the tar sands. 

BlackRock is one of the top 3 owners of many of the largest banks financing tar sands and pipeline expansion. 

BlackRock’s ownership position :

BlackRock’s ownership position:

Tar sands oil is at least 30% more polluting to the climate than other forms of oil.

Extracting all tar sands oil would use 1/3 of the planet's remaining carbon budget if we hope to keep warming below 2C. 

Climate impacts:

90% of treaty land has already been impacted in areas near tar sands mines.

150 First Nations have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion and there is fierce Indigenous-led resistance to every proposed pipeline project including TransMountain, Enbridge Line 3, and Keystone.  

Human rights impacts:



The scale of industrial activity and impacts on the natural environment and human health in Northern Alberta is astounding.

After 50 years of oil sands extraction only 0.1% of the land damaged by mines has been cleaned up.

Indigenous Nations near the tar sands have seen as much as 90% of their treaty lands destroyed by industrial impacts. Many Indigenous nations can no longer hunt or fish on their ancestral lands. The impacts on Woodland Caribou and other wildlife populations has been catastrophic.

The tar sands remain one of the biggest ecological and human rights disasters on the planet today. If BlackRock claims to be a leader in sustainable investing, it should not be financing one of the dirtiest projects on earth. 

Further Info:

Take Action:

Click on the button below to get involved with the campaign to stop the expansion of the tar sands.

A campaign targeting asset managers to stop driving the climate crisis. 


Email: info@BlackRocksBigProblem.com

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