Peter McCartney wrote about government and industry turning northeast British Columbia into a sacrifice zone:
If this destruction were happening in the Lower Mainland or the Capital Regional District, it would be unthinkable. But successive provincial governments have allowed an entire region to be sacrificed to gas development—and even given billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to the companies responsible.
At one time, fossil fuel producers at least contributed billions of dollars annually to the provincial treasury. No longer. While production levels multiplied, public revenues turned to dust.
On Twitter, McCartney, as @Climate_Pete, provided a history of BC government climate inaction:
- Want to know why climate activists are always so upset with governments who claim to be doing everything they can to tackle climate change? Here’s a brief history of BC’s broken climate commitments:
- In 2007, Gordon Campbell promised to reduce emissions by a third by 2020. His Liberal government set interim targets of 6% reductions by 2012 and 18% by 2016. In 2016, emissions were pretty much right where he started.
- Then in 2017, the BC NDP took power and realized there was no way in hell they would meet the 2020 target, so they set a new one: 40% reductions by 2030. It included an interim target of 16% reductions by 2025. We’re definitely not going to make that target.
- How do I know that? Well, the latest data we have for 2019 shows we’re still 5% above 2007 totals. 2020 will likely be an anomaly because of COVID. So we probably won’t find out where we’re really at until December 2023.
- However, in 2025 phase one of LNG Canada in Kitimat is due to come online unless anything changes. It will create about 4 MT of carbon pollution, or a further 6% increase above 2007 levels.
- This LNG plant may have been permitted under the BC Liberals, but Shell sat on the permits because it couldn’t make the economics work. That is until Premier Horgan rolled out the red carpet with a $6.6B package of subsidies. He wanted to be the one to finally make it happen.
- Environmentalists were furious. We told them they would never meet their climate targets if they built LNG. They told us we were overreacting and they had factored in LNG Canada’s emissions. But here’s the worst part: they never included phase two.
- In 2025, just as the first half of its project torpedos BC’s interim climate target, Shell & its partners will decide whether to build the rest. There’s nothing stopping them from proceeding with their project as planned — and why wouldn’t they?
- So here we are, knowing damn well the BC NDP won’t meet its climate commitments because they made a stupid decision against all our expert advice to build the most polluting facility this province has ever seen. That’s entirely on them. And they have no plan to make it right.
- Now, if the provincial government wants to course correct, it’s going to have to do something drastic like canceling LNG permits or buying back tenures from fracking companies. This might be seen as “radical” but it’s what’s necessary to protect us from deadly climate disasters.
- BC’s next Premier will have a decision in the first days of office to approve or reject yet another LNG terminal on the banks of the Fraser River in Delta. It will be a huge test of their credibility on climate change. Let’s hope they don’t make the same mistake twice.
- I should note that “unless anything changes” means if the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are able to stop the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Seriously, BC’s entire climate plan hinges on them and they need your support.