With LNG Canada looking to expand, how does it fit BC NDP climate commitments?

Apr 7, 2022 | 42-3, Blog, Governance, Legislature, Question Period, Video | 0 comments

When the consortium of multi-national corporations decided to invest in LNG Canada they only approved half the project (2 trains). They government regulatory process had approved them for 4 trains.

Now they are looking at the possibility of growing their investment to the full 4 trains.

The problem for the BC NDP is that they have only accounted for the current scale of the project in Clean BC. Even at that LNG Canada blows a hole in our climate budget.

Are the BC NDP going to continue subsidizing the project? How are they going to reach our greenhouse gas reduction targets with 4 trains operational at LNG Canada?

The BC Green warned the BC NDP about this situation before they pushed ahead with their income tax gift to secure the final investment decision.

[Transcript]

A. Olsen:

Yesterday the Globe and Mail indicated that Shell is assessing the financial viability of expanding LNG Canada here in British Columbia. “It raises the urgency for more LNG supply, because Europe and the world desperately need it,” says Wael Sawan, the head of Shell’s integrated gas and renewables division.

The Minister of Energy sees this as an indication of his government’s success. The minister said: “The fact that LNG Canada is eager to move forward is a strong indication that companies see B.C. as a secure jurisdiction to invest in.” Let’s be clear. Shell is trying to spin increased profits as a humanitarian project in a climate emergency.

What does António Guterres, the Secretary-General, have to say about this type of humanitarianism? “People and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change. Nearly half of humanity is living in the danger zone now. Many ecosystems are at the point of no return now. Unchecked carbon pollution is forcing the world’s most vulnerable on a frog march to destruction now. The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”

My question is to the Minister of Energy. Will the B.C. NDP caucus continue to subsidize the expansion of LNG Canada?

Hon. B. Ralston:

I think we all read that report from the IPCC with concern. The chair of the IPCC said: “We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a livable future…. I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”

Our approach to LNG development here in British Columbia is, I think, well known, but let me repeat the principles that guide us in our considerations. One is guaranteeing a fair return for B.C.’s resources. Two, jobs and training for British Columbians. Three, respect and partnership with First Nations, and four, protection for B.C.’s air, land and water, including living up to the province’s climate commitments.

We will continue our approach that ensures the project fits within CleanBC. We will not cut corners on the environmental assessments that protect people, land and water, and we will not abandon our climate plan, globally recognized as an innovative solution for industry.

Mr. Speaker:

Member for Saanich North and the Islands, supplemental.

[10:50 a.m.]
A. Olsen:

B.C. is already failing to meet our sectoral emission targets. We somehow believe that expanding LNG is possible.

In a CBC article this week, the Minister of Environment said “We’ve made it clear in our Roadmap to 2030 that we’re committed to a 33 to 38 percent reduction in emissions, upstream and downstream in the oil and gas sector. That is part of our roadmap, and we’ll be judged on that.” That’s true. This government will be judged on that.

Phase one of LNG Canada is included in CleanBC models. Phase two is not. The B.C. Sierra Club is suing our government for failing to provide a detailed plan to achieve emissions targets. The Minister of Energy can say whatever he wants, but we don’t have the information to be able to actually judge them on it.

They say emissions enabled by the LNG Canada terminal at Kitimat alone would make it nearly impossible to meet the targets that these ministers are talking about. Jens Wieting of the Sierra Club said: “The NDP restarted the process of the carbon tax, but both the previous Liberal government and NDP government have supported more fracking and building more LNG terminals, and that’s a key part of the problem.”

My question is to the Minister of Environment. Explain to this assembly how the expansion of LNG Canada can fit into our 2030 emissions targets.

Hon. G. Heyman:

Thank you to the member for the question. Let me simply state, as the member quoted, the CBC interview — what I said. We introduced the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 to spell out for British Columbians, all British Columbians, as well as our colleagues across Canada and across the world, a series of measures we would take across transportation, across buildings in communities, across industry, including the oil and gas sector, as to how we would reduce our emissions. Included in that was a clear commitment to reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector by 33 to 38 percent by 2030.

The focus of emission reduction has to be on reducing emissions. We will work with industry, with nations, with experts — and we’ll introduce regulations if necessary — to demonstrate clearly to British Columbians how we will achieve the commitments that we made. That is what we need to do. That is what we’ll be judged on.

I’ll simply close by quoting one of the British Columbia members — a previous member — of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “I am thrilled with the release of the CleanBC Roadmap that fulfils our original commitment in CleanBC to fully meet our legislated greenhouse gas emissions target for 2030.”

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

Hon. G. Heyman:

“The roadmap’s comprehensive sector-wide approach to emissions reduction leaves no stone unturned, and it’s a plan that signals to the world that B.C. is going to lead the way in the transition to a low-carbon future.” Those words come from a climate scientist. That climate scientist is a member of the faculty at the University of Victoria, and his name is Andrew Weaver.

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