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Canadian tar sands pollution is up to 6,300% higher than reported, study finds

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on the Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A recent study in the journal Science reports that toxic emissions from Canada's Athabasca oil sands, a major source of tar sands oil, have been grossly underestimated
The emissions are stated to be 1,900% to over 6,300% higher than industry-reported figures.

🔭 The context: Canadian tar sands are a large-scale oil extraction site in Alberta, known for high water and energy usage and significant greenhouse gas emissions
The new study utilized aircraft to measure pollutants, revealing that traditional methods miss many organic compounds released during extraction.

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: This underestimation of emissions poses severe environmental and health risks
The pollutants from the oil sands are comparable to all other human-made sources in Canada combined, exacerbating climate change and health issues in local communities.

⏭️ What's next: The findings highlight the need for more accurate pollution monitoring and regulation in the oil sands industry
This could lead to stricter environmental policies and pressure on companies to invest in cleaner technologies.

💬 One quote: Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist for Greenpeace Canada, said, "These scientists have validated what downwind Indigenous communities have been saying for decades. This is making people sick, so our governments can and should require these companies to use some of their record-breaking profits to clean up the mess they’ve made.”

📈 One stat: Emissions from the oil sands are underestimated by a staggering 1,900% to over 6,300%.

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