VANCOUVER — An agreement announced today between the B.C. and federal governments to fund electrifying B.C.’s natural and fracked gas sector is one step toward shifting to cleaner energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industry.
“Ramping up our province’s use of clean electricity to power all sectors of the economy is essential. It’s cost-effective and plays a role in reducing methane emissions, one of the most powerful greenhouse gases,” David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce said.
The Foundation’s report Zeroing in on Emissions: Canada’s clean power pathways finds that accelerating clean power, electrifying just about everything and freeing industry from emissions are essential strategies for any credible climate plan.
“Prioritizing clean electricity use by B.C.’s largest industrial carbon emitter is a smart investment,” Bruce said. “But we do recognize that more stringent policies will be needed to not only limit but shrink the oil and gas sector’s pollution to reach B.C.’s climate goal. We encourage the federal and B.C. governments to continue to act boldly in response to the human-caused climate crisis.”
Although this is an important step to limit the growth of industry’s carbon footprint, more stringent industrial regulations are needed to dramatically shrink pollution. Furthermore, rights and wilderness concerns remain. Indigenous Peoples must be central decision-makers in whether and how clean energy infrastructure is placed on their unceded lands. New transmission lines must be carefully sited to avoid damage to ecosystems and wildlife, especially in areas already affected by natural gas development that require rehabilitation. Transitioning away from, rather than expanding, oil and gas production for export will be key to B.C. moving toward a more climate-friendly economy in the long term.
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