The BC NDP should be applauded for their continued support of the carbon tax, however their energy policy leaves a lot to be desired.
Disinformation being spread minimizing the climate impacts of the LNG industry, using the image of Minister of Energy, Hon. Josie Osborne, in addition to Premier David Eby’s unwillingness to follow through on his campaign commitment to not support further investments in fossil fuel infrastructure, the BC NDP have a lot to answer for.
A. Olsen: On the carbon tax, first the B.C. NDP flipped, but when they flopped, it was on to the right side of history.
While the United Liberal Conservatives chased runway political rhetoric, this B.C. NDP government remains committed to the carbon tax. One important tactic to address runaway climate change. Gratitude to the Premier and his ministers, we stand with them in this effort.
On energy policy, though, not so much. They failed to set binding climate targets to track and report progress, and most notably, to rapidly wind down fossil fuel production.
Approving LNG Canada, Woodfibre LNG and Cedar LNG make it impossible for us to, honestly, achieve our climate targets. They lock fracking and LNG exports for decades. These are the opposites of climate action.
The Premier stated we cannot continue to expand fossil fuel infrastructure and hit our climate goals.
My question is to the Premier, when will the Premier stand by his words and stop expanding fossil fuel infrastructure?
Hon. G. Heyman: Thank you to the member both for the question and for his obvious commitment to action on climate change.
We do, however, disagree on a number of matters. The member opposite and many people, unfortunately, focus on a narrow band to say none of the actions that we are taking in our comprehensive CleanBC plan is a commitment to meeting our climate targets. That’s simply not true.
We’re taking action on transportation. We’re taking action on home heating. We’re taking action on decarbonizing industry. And we are taking action through our new energy action framework in developing a regulatory cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector to meet our target of a minimum 33 percent reduction by 2030. That’s what we’re doing.
We’re also focusing, through the major projects and clean energy office, on encouraging and supporting the development of clean energy and clean energy technologies in all its forms, as recently witnessed with the agreement of our Premier and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador to collaborate on hydrogen production.
Mr. Speaker: House Leader, Third Party, supplemental.
A. Olsen: While we stand with this government in support of the carbon tax, we will continue to hold the government accountable to the commitments that they have made to ensure that we are on track to meeting our climate commitments.
The hard truth in B.C. is that we’re not heading in that direction. Incrementalism and empty rhetoric won’t save us. Immediate and fulsome action will.
The organization Canada Action is spreading misinformation about LNG with the Minister of Energy and Mines’ photo in their ads. Does she know that she’s become the face of LNG and greenwashing? LNG does not reduce global emissions, as leading experts have repeated time and again. LNG will not be net zero, regardless of how many carbon offsets they purchase.
My question, hon. Speaker, is to the Minister of Energy. What will she do to ensure that she does not continue to be the face of LNG in their misleading ad campaigns?
Hon. J. Osborne: Thank you to the member for the question. Yes, he’s absolutely correct that my face may have appeared on ads of what companies want to put out there. It doesn’t change what this government stands for, and it doesn’t change what I stand for. Following on the words of the Minister of Environment, this government takes climate action extremely seriously, has set ambitious targets and a comprehensive CleanBC plan that has an extensive set of policies across all sectors to drive our emissions down.
We know that we need to do this in a way that works for communities and works for people. That’s why we set up the new energy action framework. We have the oil and gas emissions cap. That’s coming in. We know that this society is transitioning from fossil fuels into clean energy.
The clean energy and major projects office has been stood up to direct companies into government so that we can help them through the regulatory processes. We can help them make their final investment decisions. We’ve seen so much interest in hydrogen. We’re seeing interest in biofuels. We know that mines want to electrify. We’re working directly with First Nations to increase their equity stakes and the benefits that they’ll receive from clean energy.
We are going to stay focused on this, laser-focused on this. I appreciate the member’s attention to this, and I appreciate the question.