VICTORIA, B.C. — With its introduction of LNG legislation today, government is now officially pulling the province in two different directions in its fight against climate change.
“Continuing to push for LNG development is short-sighted and works directly against CleanBC objectives,” said Dr. Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Greens and lead author of four United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. “After years of criticizing the BC Liberals for their generous giveaway of our natural gas resources, the BC NDP have taken the giveaway to a whole new level. The legislation brought forward by this government is a generational sellout.
“We have only identified a pathway to take us only 75 percent of our 2030 emissions goals, yet we know that LNG Canada will emit an additional 3.45 megatonnes of greenhouse gases every year within our province alone, contributing massively to this gap. Government is demonstrating hypocrisy by supporting both LNG and CleanBC. They want to have their cake and eat it, too.
"We must adapt to the 21st century economy by investing in renewable energy infrastructure and transforming our province into a destination for innovative industries to thrive. Truly implementing CleanBC provides one such path for a carbon-neutral economy, one in which British Columbians are free from fossil fuels not just as an energy source, but in their jobs and everyday lives.
“The International Renewable Energy Association recently reported that there are over 10 million jobs in renewable energy. At the 2016United Nations Climate Change Conference, 48 countries have agree to make 100 percent of their energy production renewable by the year 2050. The rest of the world is moving into the future while this government is tethering us to the past.”
MLA Sonia Furstenau is the caucus spokesperson for the environment.
“Communities are already facing significant impacts from climate change,” said Furstenau. “Whether it's wildfires, floods, drought, species’ extinction, or crop failures, BC’s communities are at the frontlines of this fight. Pursuing LNG is tying our communities to an industry that is contributing to these challenges, while failing to invest in a sustainable, low carbon future.”
“Just last week over a million students - including a few thousand on the steps of the BC legislature - called for their governments to act on climate now,” added MLA Adam Olsen. “The legislation tabled today is the exact opposite of the action that our youth need from us. Climate change is happening now and we have a responsibility to take action.”
The BC Green caucus remains committed to implementing CleanBC’s vision sustainable economic vision.
“BC Green caucus will be voting against this legislation every step of the way,” Weaver said. “In minority governments, there are disagreements between partners. This is one of those. We will use our opportunities to speak to make our case to the 84 other legislators that LNG is the wrong path to pursue. BC Green caucus will not allow this legislation to deter it from continuing to contribute to this government in the historical, meaningful ways it has already on so many fronts: CleanBC, campaign finance reform, environmental assessment reform, professional reliance reform, funding for wild salmon, student debt and childcare relief.
“Unfortunately, with this legislation, we allow LNG Canada to make history for all the wrong reasons: it may be the single largest point source of carbon emissions in the country's history,” said Weaver. “Is this what we really want our province to be known for?”
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