profile image

Keith Brooks

Programs Director, Environmental Defence

Keith was born in the ‘burbs just outside Toronto, but his passion for the environment was born in a canoe on the rivers and lakes of Northern Ontario.

Once canoeing and nature had become a passion, it didn’t take long for Keith to see that the wild places and animals he’d grown so fond of were under threat, and what began as a passion then became a cause.

Keith’s concern for the environment drove him to pursue a Bachelors of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. He then worked for a number of years in the environmental consulting field before enrolling at York University to pursue a Masters of Environmental Studies.

Keith’s first hand experience as an environmental scientist left him disheartened, and showed him that a lack of sound science is not at fault for the deepening environmental crisis. Our challenge is not in knowing what must be done, but in doing it. This led Keith to focus his efforts on understanding and developing strategies to overcome the barriers that keep us from doing what science tells us we must.
Eyematrix via Getty Images

Setting The Record Straight On Ontario's Green Energy Plan

Ontario is taking a comprehensive approach to cutting emissions, which is a good thing. While some folks may love to hate the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, the reality is that it's the reason Ontario is Canada's clean technology leader. And the coal phase out was the right move, too, which is why it's being emulated by Alberta, why Ontario hit its 2014 GHG emissions target, why our air is now smog-free, and why people like me, who care about the environment and our kids' future, can breathe more easily.
05/03/2016 05:59 EDT
John James via Getty Images

Fighting Climate Change to Strengthen Ontario's Economy

Climate change is a critically important issue for the economy. The Clean Economy Alliance, which launched Wednesday, has united under some common principles to support Ontario's commitment to climate action and to make some suggestions for how the province should proceed. We've come together because addressing climate change can benefit our economy, and failing to address climate change would be very costly. Climate change has been called the single largest threat to the global economy, which is why the World Bank says a four-degree world must be avoided.
04/09/2015 09:05 EDT
Getty

It's Time to Ditch the Tar Sands Economic Plan

The Toronto Stock Exchange is plummeting in lock step with the fall in oil prices. The loonie is heading in the same direction, hopefully putting to bed any debate as to whether Canada has a petro-currency. Provinces that rely on oil royalties and revenues will likely have difficulty balancing their budgets.
10/21/2014 12:37 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why Environmentalists Are Optimists, Not Haters

It's the belief that we'll respond to risks that inspires people like me to speak out about environmental concerns. We sound the alarm to educate the public and encourage change. Far from being pessimistic, we speak out because we're optimistic. We believe that change is not only needed, but that it is possible.
04/03/2014 05:23 EDT
Getty

Energy Conservation is Common Sense For Ontario

What's stopping Ontario from creating 25,000 jobs while slashing government deficits, boosting GDP by almost $4-billion and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by nine per cent? Not much, really. It's simply a matter of doing more of the things we all do every day: turning off lights, insulating, buying more energy efficient appliances. We all conserve energy every day, but we can do much more to save more. And to do so, we need government to lead.
08/23/2013 05:23 EDT
AP

The Carbon Bubble: Another Flaw With the All-Oil Strategy

The evidence keeps coming in: Ottawa's all-oil economic strategy is seriously flawed. According to a report released last week, we could be headed for another financial crisis as a result of over-valued energy stocks that are giving rise to a growing "carbon bubble." This means that we should be breaking with our economic reliance on oil, rather than increasing it.
04/24/2013 05:19 EDT
Shutterstock

It's Time to Wean the Economy Off Oil

We should learn from history. What the oil lobby glosses over is that this boom, like every other boom, could go bust. Instead of putting all our eggs in the oil sands basket, instead of digging up Alberta at a break-neck pace, we should be more balanced and strategic in our approach. And we should develop a plan to wean our economy off oil.
12/24/2012 04:52 EST
Alamy

The Key to Creating 18,000 New Canadian Jobs

We looked at the $1.3 billion in taxpayer money our federal government currently hands to the oil industry in the form of subsidies and asked: what if, instead of subsidizing polluters, the money was invested in industries that cut pollution? We crunched the numbers and found that $1.3 billion invested in renewable energy or energy efficiency could create between 18,000-20,000 jobs.
11/23/2012 12:27 EST
Getty Images

Can Canada Really Be an "Energy Superpower"

Canada's entire "energy superpower" strategy hinges on high-priced oil, and a recent International Energy Agency report demonstrates that betting on high prices is risky. Canada should pin our future prosperity to the burgeoning renewables market, rather than doubling down on oil. It's the only choice we have for the sake of our environment. And it's the best path forward for our economy, too.
11/15/2012 12:16 EST

Canada's Energy Strategy Should Not Be Oil-Soaked

Basing our national energy strategy on the oil industry would would lead to too many emissions and too few jobs. Increasing our dependence on oil drives up the Canadian dollar which in turn hurts export-oriented sectors like manufacturing and forestry. The petro-dollar also makes our economy vulnerable to the boom and bust cycles typical of oil. In short, it's unwise to put all our eggs in an oily basket.
09/20/2012 05:12 EDT
PC

We Need a Canadian -- Not an Albertan -- Energy Strategy

Canada's premiers are meeting this week at the Council of the Federation and a Canadian energy strategy will be on the agenda. A sensible strategy would be one that works for all Canadians, both present and future -- not just Alberta.
07/25/2012 08:12 EDT
AP

Canada: Environmental Loser at Home and Abroad

In the coming days, the world's leaders will gather in Rio de Janeiro to seek renewed commitment to the principles of sustainable development. The Rio+20 hasn't received a lot of Canadian attention, and for good reason: A federal budget bill which contains over 100 pages dedicated to weakening environmental legislation and oversight has just been passed by parliament.
06/20/2012 12:43 EDT
Alamy

It's the Green Economy, Stupid

In a recent poll Canadians cited the economy as their most pressing concern. There is mounting evidence a green economy would deliver greater economic growth and more jobs compared with continuing with business as usual. The green economy isn't just better for the environment; it's a better economy.
01/25/2012 05:53 EST
AP

Green Jobs Are Not a Hoax

For decades, people have argued that we must choose between good work and a clean environment. But that argument just doesn't hold up anymore. We need a functioning economy with good jobs, and a clean environment, which is what is meant by the term green economy.
10/11/2011 08:47 EDT
AP FILE

Green Jobs Are Under Attack

Even though embracing renewable energy will save ratepayers money, the Conservative Party of Ontario has vowed to cancel the province's program. Instead, Ontario should look more closely at Europe, where renewable energy is embraced by right- and left-wing alike because it is a win-win proposition.
08/29/2011 11:28 EDT
AP File

Electric Vehicles Charging Forward in Ontario

To be sure, there are those who think the provincial government shouldn't invest in electric car charging stations. But the truth is, Ontario's move will keep us in step with the world's leading economies.
08/11/2011 04:41 EDT
AP

Green Jobs: Difficult to Assess, but a Pathway to Success

The challenge with tracking the green economy stems from the fact that this sector is, well, not a sector. There are no occupational classifications dedicated to green jobs, and no industry codes either. How can we tell whether or to what extent the green economy has been successful?
08/05/2011 09:27 EDT