Statement from Julia Levin, Associate Director, National Climate
Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – Governments in Canada must pay close attention to today’s decision by President Biden to put the brakes on new natural gas export projects.
Earlier this morning, the U.S. administration announced it is halting reviews of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects in order to better evaluate both the climate change impacts and the cost of living impacts of those projects.
In Canada, climate change is still not a significant part of how fossil fuel projects are evaluated. As a result, governments keep approving climate bombs, like the giant Bay du Nord offshore oil project. The Government of Canada should follow President Biden’s lead and implement a climate test that requires a comprehensive review of the climate, health, environmental justice and economic impacts of fossil fuel projects.
In addition to the climate impacts, the US administration also cited cost of living concerns as a reason for its decision. Research shows that developing LNG projects for export increases the cost of natural gas domestically, leading to higher bills for households that use the fossil fuel to heat their homes or cook with. Pausing LNG exports is a concrete way to stop the cost of living crisis from getting worse.
Today’s decision underpins how shaky both the economic and climate rationales for new fossil gas projects are, particularly given the volatility of LNG prices and declining long-term global demand. At COP28, countries sent a clear message that we’re at the end of the fossil fuel era. President Biden’s decision further drives the point home. Canada should follow.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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