If ever there was any doubt that we need strong action on climate change, the heat wave that has engulfed B.C. dispels it.
Record-breaking temperatures never before experienced are a reminder that our planet is in a climate emergency. Governments must take action to prevent a future of climate chaos.
That Parliament has passed Bill C-12, the Net-Zero Climate Accountability Act, is encouraging. At the same time, however, Prime Minister Trudeau is promoting new oil pipeline infrastructure that will lock us into continued oil production when climate science tells us we need to stop new production now.
The B.C. government is equally culpable: Its CleanBC Plan pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 2007 levels by 2030 and by 80 per cent by 2050. But B.C. will not be able to fulfill those pledges while promoting LNG development.
It is well known that greenhouse gas emissions occur throughout the natural gas supply chain, especially methane emissions.
Methane is 84 times more potent a climate change driver than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. A study of B.C.’s Wellbore Leakage database found that almost 11 per cent of all oil and gas wells had a reported leak. Together, they released 14,000 cubic metres of methane per day.
It is clear that expanding oil and gas production is completely incompatible with achieving promised emissions reduction targets. The LNG Canada project alone would generate emissions that exceed the 2050 CleanBC Plan target by 160 per cent, even if all other parts of B.C.’s economy reduced emissions to zero by 2034.
To get to zero carbon emissions, we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy. We also need federal Just Transition legislation that will ensure workers and communities are supported as they transition to the net zero carbon economy.