“TMX and LNG are Canada’s ticking climate bombs if leaders don't act now”

Wednesday December 02, 2020

Stand.earth reacts to UN report calling on governments to wind down fossil fuel production in order to limit catastrophic climate impacts

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — Canadian leaders must immediately cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline (TMX) and stop subsidizing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects if they are truly committed to keeping global temperatures from rising above the catastrophic threshold of 1.5°C.

An alarming report released today by the United Nations reveals that governments around the world must slash fossil fuel production by six per cent per year between 2020 and 2030 in order to stay consistent with their science-informed climate commitments to the Paris Agreement. Currently, countries are on track to increase fossil fuel production by two per cent annually, “which by 2030 would result in more than double the production consistent with the 1.5°C limit.” Canada is no exception to this, and is among the countries identified in this report pursuing major fossil fuel supply expansion projects. 

“First Nations, environmental groups, scientists,  and even Canada’s own energy regulator have all said that Canada can’t build TMX while upholding its climate commitments,” said Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director, Stand.earth. “This is the final nail in the coffin—Prime Minister Trudeau needs to cancel this project immediately and recoup taxpayer costs before billions of dollars are wasted.  Canada needs a plan to wind down production and ensure no worker or their families are left behind.  Building more fossil fuel infrastructure and refusing to plan for the necessary wind down is just political cowardice.  Canadians deserve better.”   

The lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report (IPCC) report, Global Warming of 1.5ºC, has already expressed that Trans Mountain, along with other oil industry and infrastructure expansion projects, are inconsistent with this climate target. Nationally, Canada is one of the world’s largest fossil fuel producers, doing very little to equitably wind down production. Provincially, British Columbia is only second to Alberta as one of the most generous subsidizers to oil and gas—particularly LNG which is often touted as a false climate solution.

 “When we talk about LNG, it actually means more fracking, because it’s just not possible to increase fossil fuel exports without also increasing fossil fuel production,” said Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director, Stand.earth. “Today’s report is a reminder that we can’t get out of the climate crisis with more of the same thinking that got us into it and subsidizing LNG at the cost of billions in taxpayer dollars, while driving up our emissions here in BC, is a perfect example of an outdated industrial strategy.”   

If Canada is truly committed to being a climate leader on the international stage, the federal government must immediately cancel TMX and redirect those funds to COVID-19 relief solutions, and the BC government needs to cancel the deep-well royalty credit from natural gas producers, a liability that reduces public revenues for future generations, and embrace the federal government’s plan to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. 

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Media contacts: 

Ziona Eyob, Canadian Communications Manager, canmedia@stand.earth, +1 604 757 7279 (PST)