Ok, I had written this intro yesterday, to gently pull you all in, but I got up this morning and thought: To hell with it. We’re adults. Some of us are (grand) parents and want best for our children. Some of us want current life to live on. At least a liveable future, one that isn’t wrecked by climate change.
So we fight anyone who stands in the way of that. And Woodfibre LNG is.
We’ve been calling out the company for shaky climate claims after president and staff suggested their LNG would be “off-setting” coal fired power plants in Asia.
That’s why we want to see their lifecycle analysis comparing the amounts of emissions from both fuels, including those from extraction all the way to the final burning.
Because third party analyses showed: BC LNG to emit more greenhouse gases than coal, when used in Asian power plants.
Last year, the company said they were working on something, and that has arrived recently: “Woodfibre LNG’s roadmap to net zero” announced on press release and website as: “Woodfibre LNG accelerates Canada’s pathway to net zero”
Really? In my experience, I would consider accelerating a country’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking an existing oil or gas facility out of commission.
So is Woodfibre LNG cancelling the project?
Nope. This is another product from Woodfibre LNG’s 1984 newspeak public relations cluster f* department.
The company has the nerve to suggest that building a new fossil fuel project will make it easier to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Let me the bearer of the bad news: It won’t be. Building a new fossil fuel project in a climate emergency will make it harder.
That’s why institutions like the International Energy Agency, and all the climate change scientists behind the International Panel on Climate Change are pressing governments not to allow for new fossil fuel projects to be built. That’s why.
Not that Canada’s federal and provincial governments listen to these calls, caught up in their dance to net zero in 2050, while still approving new fossil fuel projects.
Sure, it’s good news that Canada’s emissions have come down a bit from 2021 to 2022, no doubt because of inflation, but Canada’s oil and gas industries’ share in Canada’s total emissions, is still growing.
And that’s what Woodfibre LNG going into operations, will also add to. In Canada and globally.
Although the company asserts its facility will be net zero locally — meaning, the amount of greenhouse gas emitted is equal to the amount taken out — the bulk of the emissions will be released from the exported LNG, when as gas burned in Asia.
Trying to be net zero locally could work, if we weren’t already in a climate emergency. However, hydroelectricity is better used locally as energy storage and for real emission reductions from existing emitters.
And buying carbon credits in local forests is fraught with uncertainties as we’re already experiencing climate change intensifying droughts, heat waves, forest fires, heavy rain events, and storms resulting in plants and trees increasingly stressed, which, decreases their ability to absorb CO2.
In fact, B.C. forests have become CO2 emitters since the early 2000s.
What really stands out is, that Woodfibre LNG’s plans might’ve worked 30 years ago, but not today. And every day into the future, the idea of building a new fossil fuel facility becomes more and more ludicrous — and dangerous.
Not anything, like inclusive hiring practices — Isn’t that what you always do? — and handing out community grants, can mask that.
Making progress possible — Woodfibre LNG’s slogan — means: not building it.
Anton van Walraven
Concerned Citizens of Bowen