VANCOUVER | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORIES OF THE xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) FIRST NATIONS — Today’s energy framework announcement by Premier David Eby and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman charts a new course for liquefied national gas, energy and economic policy in British Columbia.
“We’re pleased to see B.C. signalling a shift in economic priorities, recognizing that the province’s prosperity can’t rely on climate-damaging fossil fuels,” said the foundation’s senior climate adviser Tom Green. “Successive B.C. governments have missed climate targets. This new framework can limit climate impacts and redirect investments to enable a fair energy transition in B.C. A regulated emissions cap signals this government’s intention to get the oil and gas sector’s emissions under control.”
A provincially regulated cap on emissions in the oil and gas sector will improve the province’s capacity to meet climate targets and force the oil and gas industry to invest excess profits in cleaning up its act and doing its fair share to reduce emissions. Requiring new LNG facilities to be net-zero by 2030 is a small step in the right direction, yet the science is clear that the world can’t afford continued expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and that burning B.C. LNG makes climate change worse. Creating conditions for a robust renewable energy sector will lead to jobs and economic opportunities for Indigenous nations and communities throughout the province.
In the wake of today’s announcement, important questions remain. The foundation urges the government not to spend public money on infrastructure or subsidies of any kind for the fossil fuel industry. Furthermore, carbon offsets that new LNG facilities could be allowed to use to meet the net-zero by 2030 requirement have not been proven to effectively reduce emissions.
In light of guidance from the International Energy Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and thousands of scientists around the world, curtailing new fossil fuel infrastructure development is not only wise but necessary to safeguard public health and demonstrate financial due diligence.
“Recent national and international reporting shines a bright light on the fact that B.C. is sitting on a carbon bomb of global significance: the Montney gas fields. If all the gas in this carbon bomb was extracted and burned — in B.C. or in export markets — we would greatly increase the risk of triggering catastrophic climate change,” said the foundation’s energy transition strategist John Young. “We will work with government to build on the most positive aspects of today’s announcement in a rapid transition to a clean energy economy.”
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