Ottawa, ON – The federal government’s decision to approve the controversial Pacific NorthWest LNG project is a setback for Canada’s efforts to tackle climate change. Carbon pollution from the LNG plant – the equivalent of putting 1.9million cars on the road every year – would increase British Columbia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 8.5 per cent. This is a step backwards from Canada’s Paris commitment to drastically cut emissions.
The approval of the high-emitting LNG project comes just one week after the federal decision to curb Canada’s climate ambitions through weak targets. Yesterday’s decision raises serious concerns since the environmental assessment found that Pacific NorthWest LNG would cause significant environmental impacts and would become one of Canada’s largest carbon emitters.
Building the LNG project would make it virtually impossible for B.C. to meet its 2050 climate targets and seriously undermine Canada’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. The federal government now has even less bandwidth under its climate targets to justify approval of other high-carbon-intensive projects such as Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline and TransCanada’s Energy East.
The federal government’s recent decisions are not the climate leadership millions of Canadians voted for. Instead of speeding up the transition to a low-carbon economy, the federal and B.C. governments are deepening the dependence of Canada’s economy on fossil fuels. In a world transitioning away from fossil fuels and awash with cheap LNG, building high-carbon projects like Pacific NorthWest makes very little sense.
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