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Letter: LNG is not the climate solution the world needs

'We can’t bet the future of the planet and the survival of present and future generations on a fossil fuel.'
Equipment at the Woodfibre LNG site last month.

Where there is a vested interest, then the risk of great deception is always present. A prime example is the Tobacco Industry which for decades has been denying and distorting the scientific evidence to advance its interest/ financial gain and, in doing so, has created incalculable harm to the planet and its inhabitants.

Presently in Squamish, the LNG Industry is following the tactics of the Tobacco Industry, for it, too, has a vested interest, a self-serving desire to make money regardless of the harm and destruction caused.

On their website, Woodfibre LNG states that their “facility" will be net zero by 2027. This could be true as they have a partnership with B.C.Hydro and play to access electricity from the grid. However, this is only part of the story, a half-truth. The drilling, fracking, construction and transportation have been left out of the picture. 

(Owner of  Woodfibre LNG is a Malaysian billionaire known for his blatant disregard for the environment)

Like the Tobacco Industry, the LNG Industry is ignoring the scientific evidence and promoting misinformation, half-truths and greenwashing. Is LNG better than coal? A bridge fuel? No, it is not.  Look at the independent scientific evidence. A recent peer-reviewed study reveals yet again that when leakage along the production line from drilling, fracking, processing and transport is taken into consideration, then LNG is as bad as coal. The amount of leakage that allegedly puts LNG on par with coal is a mere .2%. 

"The paper highlights recent surveys that found leak rates far above that, of “0.65% to 66.2%.” 

LNG is mostly methane, which despite not remaining in the atmosphere as long as CO2 (just 1-2 decades compared to 1000s of years), the warming effect is much higher than CO2. “Methane, over 20 years, is 86 times more potent as carbon dioxide is, as a greenhouse gas.”

To avoid climate catastrophe, we need to act now. So in the short term, which is all we have, LNG is the worst possible alternative energy. “The new report from the Corporate Mapping Project and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found B.C.’s LNG will not reduce global emissions even if it displaces coal-fired electricity in Asia.”     

In addition, LNG projects are capital intensive (the price tag for Kitimat Phase 1 is $40 billion). 

These projects must operate for about 40 years to break even and make a profit which locks us into LNG and its emissions, locks up investment money and locks out renewables.

Bottom line: LNG is a fossil fuel, and it is fossil fuels that have driven the climate emergency. Daily we hear of fires, floods, droughts and extreme weather events. With the 2023 wildfire season in Canada not yet over, we have achieved the highest emissions on record.

On Aug. 4th, 2023, we reached a new high for sea surface temperature. 

We can’t bet the future of the planet and the survival of present and future generations on a fossil fuel. We live on a finite planet, and with renewable energy increasingly cheaper, we can replace gas and coal with safer, cleaner renewable energy. Let’s take action to protect the well-being of the planet and future generations, not the harmful, destructive profits of LNG vested interests.

Deirdre Goodwin



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