BC NDP’s CleanBC Plan in Jeopardy as LNG Projects Clash with Emission Targets

Feb 14, 2023 | 42-4, Blog, Environment, Governance, Legislature, Question Period, Video | 1 comment

The BC NDP have an LNG problem.

They have committed to meet our 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas emissions targets. They have continually promoted the CleanBC climate action plan, calling it “world-leading” and “award winning.”

They know that the first half of the LNG Canada project currently being built in Kitimat barely fits into their plan. Now, LNG Canada proposes to go ahead with phase two, which has already been approved, and there are other LNG projects waiting in the wings as well.

The BC NDP have said that all new fossil fuel projects need to fit in their CleanBC plan. They know it is not possible for these projects to go ahead and still be able to meet the climate targets, so why don’t they just say they won’t support these proposals.

This is an issue that the BC NDP needs to reconcile, and soon! While the Minister of Environment, George Heyman, rejects the premise of my questions the day of reckoning for he and his government is coming soon.

So what is it? Premier David Eby’s commitment to no new fossil fuel infrastructure, or a total failure to meet our emissions targets?


A. Olsen:

During the B.C. NDP leadership event last fall, Premier Eby said: “We cannot continue to subsidize fossil fuels and expect clean energy to manifest somehow. We cannot continue to expand fossil fuel infrastructure and hit our climate goals.”

My question is to the Premier. Will he commit to no knew expanded fossil fuel projects in British Columbia?

Mr. Speaker:

When we ask questions, members, no names are to be mentioned.

Hon. J. Osborne:

Thank you to the member for the question. I appreciate his interest and his passion for this topic, one that our government shares. We have been very clear all along that all future LNG projects need to fit within our climate commitments. We have said this over and over again. The Premier has backed this up. It has been a strong part of the message from our government. We are going to continue to work with the oil and gas sector to reduce emissions to fit within our sectoral targets and to hit those targets. I am so honoured to have this position to be working with my colleague the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy together to address this. I appreciate the question.

Mr. Speaker:

Member, supplemental.

A. Olsen:

It’s essentially the same response that the Premier gave us last fall: that we are going to be meeting our 2030 and 2050 targets, and that’s the goal of CleanBC. Unfortunately, we’re not on track to meet those targets as we currently stand. The fact of the matter is that we’ve got multiple LNG proposals in this province being speculated upon, many of which are very bullish in there for the future of LNG in this province, a response that this government has yet to tamper down.

We’ve got Woodfibre, Tilbury, LNG Canada phase 2, Cedar LNG and Ksi Lisims LNG all ready to go in this province. If they are going to move forward, then it’s going to take CleanBC and the rhetoric around it and completely make it meaningless. My question to the minister of energy: with all of the speculation about these other LNG projects, does she still believe that we can expand the fossil fuel industry and meet our climate goals?

Hon. G. Heyman:

Thank you to the member for the question. I appreciate the member’s passion for meeting climate goals. But I simply do not accept a characterization of one of the leading climate plans in North America, in a context when other people are doing absolutely nothing, as empty rhetoric. It’s simply not true. We have a broad series of actions across all sectors that are designed to reduce emissions between now and 2030; now and 2040; and now and 2050. We’re making progress on them.

This is hard work, but we’re doing it. It involves meeting with industry, whether it’s the oil and gas sector; the pulp and paper sector; or the mining sector, and working with them to drive down their emissions. This is not some something that can be simply done by an empty statement in this Legislature, an empty statement in front of cameras or a stroke of a pen. This is hard work, and we’re taking it on. That’s why we’ll continue to work hard with our partners and with our communities to meet our climate targets, because that’s what British Columbians expect.

1 Comment

  1. Phil Le Good (Cobble Hill, BC)

    What does it matter if our province meets its objectives for 2030 and 2050 when the amount of methane (natural gas) produced and shipped elsewhere is going to double or triple and burned elsewhere? The atmosphere is shared and does not respect borders or continents. What matters is whether we can reduce our GHG emissions, mainly CO2, to a level well below the UN target of 10 billion tonnes annually so we do not increase the global mean temperature to 1.5 C. We need to get to 1970 levels to return to a more stable climate which means reducing our CO2 emissions by 20 billion tonnes per year and with plans to keep shipping LNG overseas we are not going to get there.

    I’ve looked at the Direct Air Capture technologies and the technology is so expensive it will only pretend to be doing something and more importantly its a technology that does nothing to decarbonize our human activities.


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