Some consider natural gas preferable to other fossil fuels “because it emits 50-60% less carbon dioxide (CO2) during combustion.” But over the course of its’100-year lifespan natural gas’ primary component has “a radiative forcing greater than 30 times that of CO2.”1 According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Methane is responsible for 25% of already observed changes to Earth’s climate.” Two new studies find Canada’s methane emissions drastically underreported.
Green Party Andrew Weaver received an incredible surprise when he heard the results of Check TV’s online election survey two days ago. A Vancouver Island poll suggests the Greens could pick up two seats.
A year has passed since the World proclaimed its’ resolve to keep the average global temperature rise below 2 degrees. The Canadian government appears to be green lighting the expansion of our emissions heavy fossil fuel sector through the addition of Woodfibre LNG terminal, Pacific Northwest LNG terminal and at least one more pipeline to carry diluted bitumen to the West Coast. (Natural Resources Minister Jim Car says that the now expected U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline does not change the fact Canada needs more access to Asian markets.) They are expected to approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would tripple the tanker traffic flowing past the city of Vancouver, on December 19. The hearings for an even larger project in eastern Canada, Energy East, have been temporarily on hold since the entire panel had to recluse itself because “their participation in these meetings may have created an apprehension of bias which could undermine the integrity and the credibility of the Board’s decision making process.” Despite the fact emissions from the gas and oil sectors are one of the principal contributors to our rising emissions, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says “there is no turning back” in the fight against climate change. At the press conference following the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) at Marrakech, she was confronted about the disconnect between Canada’s climate words & fossil fuel investments.
What do the people of Canada think? The oil rich provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan want to build more pipelines to carry diluted bitumen from the oil sands. The Liberal government of British Columbia dreams of developing a “trillion dollar” LNG opportunity. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be appeasing them, in return for provincial support for a national plan to curb Canada’s C02 emissions. The goal is to reduce our emissions to 30% below the 2005 level by 2030, but the concessions inherit in Trudeau’s collaborative approach could subvert any attempt to tackle climate change. A new poll finds Canadians expect Federan action against emissions. Continue reading Poll Finds Canadians Expect Federal Action Against Emissions→
In a recent interview with the ECOreport, Simon Fraser University Climate ScientistDr, Kirsten Zickfelddescribed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s idea of fighting climate change while expanding the oil sands and building new pipelines as “delusional.” There is only a finite amount of carbon we can release into the atmosphere and if we hope keep the global temperature rise to 2 degrees C. We are already close to 1.5 degrees and may pass that threshold this year. Even if we do not build any new fossil fuel infrastructure, Canada will exhaust “its’ fair share” of carbon emissions by 2030. These were quite strong statements, so I asked a couple of other scientists – as well as environmentalists, politicians and government spokespersons – Can Canada build more pipelines? Or LNG facilities? Continue reading Can Canada Build More Pipelines? Or LNG Facilities?→