Statement by Environmental Defence’s Dale Marshall on Canada achieving its 2030 carbon reduction target despite pipeline approvals

Toronto, ON – The federal government must show exactly how Canada will reach its 2030 carbon reduction target despite recent approvals for two tar sands pipelines and an LNG terminal.

Tuesday’s approvals for the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines come just two months after the go-ahead for Pacific Northwest LNG. After these massive approvals, how is it still possible to meet Canada’s already-weak Paris climate commitments?

Canadians need to see the government’s carbon reduction math. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna must explain in detail how new pipelines fit within a coherent national climate change framework. The government must explain why it plans to lock in fossil fuel infrastructure even though it committed to decarbonize the economy by at least 80 per cent by 2050.

The government recently approved fossil fuel projects that will to add up to 42 million tonnes in additional carbon pollution – from extraction alone. That’s the equivalent of adding 8.9 million cars to Canada’s roads:

  • Kinder Morgan expansion pipeline: 15 Mt
  • Line 3 expansion pipeline: 13 Mt
  • Pacific Northwest LNG pipeline and terminal: 14 Mt

The massive increases in carbon pollution cancel out almost 80 per cent of planned reductions from highly welcome, but insufficient climate measures:

  • Accelerated federal coal phase-out: 5 Mt
  • Pan-Canadian carbon pricing: 18 Mt
  • National Clean Fuel Standard: 30 Mt

Research shows that even just one new pipeline and LNG terminal would require the rest of the Canadian economy to cut its carbon pollution at least in half by 2030. Minister McKenna needs to give Canadians a credible and detailed list of policies, how much each will reduce carbon emissions, and how they add up to at least meeting Canada’s 2030 GHG target – despite emission increases from pipelines, LNG terminals, and the upstream emissions they enable.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 223; 647-468-3641 (cell); tehlich@environmentaldefence.ca