Jul 04, 2019
Global Energy Monitor – Another great example where media and the public need to “lean in” and not buy into “fake news”
Friends and colleagues,
You may see some news coverage on this report: https://globalenergymonitor.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/NewGasBoomEmbargo.pdf It is disappointing that media have not taken the time to investigate the source or their claims more thoroughly.
Below please find some of my comments.
The Energy Monitor is not an independent or credible source.
The mandate of this group is to eliminate fossil fuel development. Originally it was launched under the name CoalSwarm in early 2008 and later that year was accepted as a project of Earth Island Institute, an incubator for innovative projects in ecology and social justice. Please check out their website for more information about how they conduct research and their sponsors.
A more credible source is the International Energy Agency.
In the Sustainable Development Scenario in the 2018 World Energy Outlook, natural gas is noted to play a significant role in helping to meet the growing global energy demand AND reduce global carbon emissions.
Even considering methane emissions, natural gas from one large LNG plant in B.C., exported to Asia, can provide enough energy to replace or displace up to 40 coal-fired power plants with cleaner burning natural gas. Since natural gas produces approximately 50% fewer GHG emissions than coal when burned (on a life cycle basis), this could reduce global GHG emissions by 60 to 90 million tonnes of CO2 each year, an amount greater than the total annual emissions of British Columbia, and roughly 10 percent of Canada’s annual GHG emissions. This reduction is equivalent to taking 12 to 18 million cars in Canada off the road. That’s up to 80 per cent of all the cars in Canada.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming emphasized the need for transformative global actions and global cooperation to decarbonize our energy system. The report also stated that regionalization of climate goals will only lead to carbon leakage and was identified as a barrier to achieving a 1.5C or 2C global temperature reduction goal. The most plausible scenario of the IPCC report indicates that gas will need to increase by 33% to keep temperatures between 1.5C – 2C.
B.C. and Canada presently have climate policies that position it as a world leader in managing GHG emissions from the natural gas and LNG sectors. These include a $35 per tonne carbon tax on combustion emissions (increasing to $50 per tonne by 2022), a 45 per cent reduction in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and a performance target for new LNG facilities that is world leading.
LNG facilities that meet B.C’.s performance requirements will be the cleanest in the world from a GHG emissions perspective. They will produce roughly 50 per cent fewer emissions than the average LNG facility operating in the world today, and 30 per cent fewer GHG emissions than the world’s best LNG facilities currently in operation.
These policies do add cost and make B.C.’s natural gas and LNG sectors less globally competitive. So we need to find the right balance between climate policy and economic policy to ensure that significant opportunities like the LNG investments being proposed in B.C. do not go to other countries that have little or no GHG policy and are more carbon intensive than our own. The result would be increased carbon emissions for the world, referred to as carbon leakage.
LNG is a generational opportunity for Canada
Developing LNG as a new industry in Canada provides a significant opportunity for jobs, businesses and economic growth that wouldn’t exist otherwise, especially for the northern region of B.C. which struggled to attract economy opportunity and investment.
This includes First Nations communities, who have already seen direct benefits, business opportunities, jobs, apprentice and training opportunities for their members. Partnership agreements and economic development are allowing Nations to provide additional programs and services for their members. This opportunity for First Nations communities will help provide a step towards self-sufficiency and a significant step towards reducing inequality in northern B.C. In the first few months of construction, LNG Canada had already awarded close to $1B in contracts to Canadian companies. The project also expects 10000 new jobs during the construction period across upstream, pipeline and plant.
Industry is stepping up to address methane emissions
Take Shell for example, which is one of the original signatories of the Global Methane Principles. The Guiding Principles focus on continually reducing methane emissions, advancing strong performance across gas value chains, improving accuracy of methane emissions data, and advocating sound policies and regulations on methane emissions. Shell has also deployed Gen 4 multi-well pad design that includes electric valve actuators instead of pneumatic ones which reduce methane emissions at the wellsite.
Through the development and export of liquefied natural gas, British Columbia and Canada are poised to realize an opportunity that provides both economic benefits for generations, and environmental benefits on a global scale. For true climate leadership, we must show the world that our climate goals can be met along with economic opportunity.
-Susannah Pierce, Director, Corporate Affairs, LNG Canada